Aeons Abyss – Terror Manifest (Self-Released)

Friday, 12th November 2021
Rating: 7.5/10

Forming out of a pure love for old-school US death metal, Aeons Abyss as a duo (with no relation even though they share the O’Brien last name with Paul on vocals and Steve on guitar/bass) have made incremental progress since starting in 2017. Releasing an EP, debut album, and numerous singles, Terror Manifest is this second full-length from the Australian act – an eleven-track offering that combines death, thrash, grind, and a bit of ambient soundscapes to make for an intriguing, diverse package.

Choosing to have each song represent a specific card from the deck of Tarot and how the characters impact society beyond the individuals allows Aeons Abyss to explore occult themes in a broader scope – often matching the proceedings musically and vocally. Steve has a fierce, logical manner to his tremolo picking and main duties to supplying the electric foundation – sharp, crisp transitions that can go from speedy runs to evil doom or bluesy bends to make “The Fool” and “The Devil” early favorites. Paul’s voice contains that chilling edge that traverses blackened pastures as much as death metal – summoning the depths of darkness for “The High Priestess” while volleying back and forth against the cross-genre doom to grind/thrash measures during “The Ace of Staves”. “Death” and “The Magician” serve as two atmospheric instrumentals containing narrative accents or ambience place holders before the next main salvo hits your ears. Normally a deterrent for full enjoyment, even the drum programming throughout represents proper positioning, keeping the tempos in human range as blast beats are minimal and a conventional doom, death, and thrash pace shifts from song to song.

Imagine taking a mix of influences from Megadeth to Voivod, Obituary to Morgoth, along with a bit of Candlemass or Mercyful Fate and you have a sense of where Aeons Abyss is trying to go. Nothing groundbreaking, but the meat and potatoes approach and execution will gain favor from many in the underground.

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