ÆON SPOKE Above the Buried Cry

Album · 2004 · Non-Metal
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3/5 ·
"Above the Buried Cry" is the debut full-length studio album by US alternative rock act Æon Spoke. The album was released through the Mercy Stroll label in October 2004. 7 out of the 10 tracks featured on the album were re-recorded and included on the band´s 2007 self-titled sophomore album. Æon Spoke was founded and is led by lead vocalist/guitarist Paul Masvidal and drummer/keyboard player Sean Reinert, who are also known for their work with Death, Cynic, and Portal (among others).

The music on "Above the Buried Cry" is very different from any of the above mentioned acts though and doesn´t feature anything that reveals that the two mainmen behind the project are usually associated with metal. The tracks on the album are vers/chorus structured and predominantly mellow alternative rock songs with Paul Masvidal´s pleasant and fragile vocals in front. It´s very straight forward with a slight melancholic edge, and it´s safe to say that this is as different sounding as it can be from the involved parties earlier output. The material are generally catchy and some tracks stick after the album is over, so there is a longivity to some of the tracks. It´s only some tracks that manage to stick out though ("Pablo at the Park" especially comes to mind) and there are quite a few that are forgotten as soon as they are over.

The sound production is clear and suits the material and all in all "Above the Buried Cry" is a professionally made album with a pleasant sound, but that´s about it. I´m not wildly impressed by the instrumental part of the music. There are little details here and there, that elevate some tracks to a higher level, but the instrumental arrangements are generally a bit dull and only seem to be there to back up the vocals. That´s of course the premise of much pop and rock music, but it´s a bit unusual to hear musicians of this caliber tone down their performances as much as they do here. For the style it´s a decent release and a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted, but don´t come to the album expecting anything else than a subdued alternative rock album with a slightly melancholic atmosphere featuring relatively simple arrangements and you won´t be disappointed.
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