Sunday, May 24, 2009

Aion: Noia Review

Aion is a gothic metal band from Poland. They play a style of metal that sounds a lot like Moonspell in their gothic heyday. This is a fairly obscure band and this is not a bad album, but it’s not really something to seek out.

Guitar riffs, when they are present, are oftentimes fairly heavy groove metal type riffs. This is not to suggest that there are not many guitar riffs, simply that they are often overwhelmed by the other aspects of the music. The guitars are there mostly to set a rhythm for the song to follow, much like in groove metal, but there are far more melodic touches added on to the top of the riffs. There are solos and leads but neither adds much to the rest of the music.

The band uses a lot of keyboard flourishes and choir vocals that are presumably sampled throughout much of the album. These touches provide most of the dark, gothic feel to the band. The picture on the cover is some undersea kingdom and the above mentioned aspects of the music do bring images to mind of just such a kingdom. These two ingredients make up a majority of the band’s melodies.

The vocals are a little weak. The singer sounds as if he is either holding something back or simply cannot achieve the powerful voice he is trying to portray. The vocals are clean, delivered in a bit of a flat tone and sometimes the words sound a little slurred. The style of vocals does reasonably well with the music, but on their own would not be considered very good.

The songs are extremely catchy and the melodies infectious. Many of the songs would probably be big hits if they were performed by a more mainstream gothic metal bands such as Lacuna Coil.

The last track is the band’s rendition of “O Fortuna”, the first movement of Carl Orff’s masterpiece “Carmina Burana”. This is one of the better movements to incorporate into a metal album and a gothic metal band is the most likely to do so. The band does well with this song, but it would have been nice had it been a bit longer.

All in all, this is a catchy release but is not essential. The band does not possess any qualities that other more well-known gothic metal bands do not have.

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