Aeon is the second full-length album from Italian instrumental sludge/post-metal act Mondrian Oak. The album was released in 2012 and features seven tracks, all of which are named as simply 1 through to 7. Apart from 1 and 4 they’re all pretty long compositions, with 2 and 6 passing the ten minute mark.
The music we have here is heavy yet atmospheric. With no vocals at all the instruments are used to great effect in the place of a singer in order to give each of the seven tracks its own individual mood and the different sections are delivered emotively from each instrument. Although classable under post-metal with a sludge metal aspect to it I imagine that the release would also be at home with doom and drone metal albums, although there is a lot more going on than with much of the drone stuff I’ve heard, the music does often share some of the same qualities. 4 is a good example of that.
As with any instrumental release this is going to have a niche market but perhaps even more of a niche market than most since it is in no way a shred release as per Steve Vai, John Petrucci et al. There’s only one aspect to the music that I think is really going to be the selling point for it, and that’s its atmosphere, because what we’ve got here is something darkly haunting. Calling it a scary atmosphere wouldn’t be wrong either since I can easily imgaine some of this stuff as a sound track to a horror film. In this sense the fact that it’s instrumental is irrelevant. I’d actually say the lack of vocals is to the complete benefit of this sort of music as it allows you to become totally engrossed in the atmosphere that Mondrian Oak has created.
All in all Aeon is an enjoyable release that comes recommendable to fans of post, sludge, doom and drone metal. I couldn’t listen to an album in this vein very often, but even so I think a highish end rating is easily deserved as I think to metal fans more into these styles than I am will lap this one up. Mondrian Oak doesn’t appear to be very well known yet, but if this album is anything to go by that should change.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))