ÆOLIAN - Echoes of the Future
Album: Echoes of the Future
Genre: Melodic Death / Black Metal
Release Date: November 10th, 2023
Label: Black Lion Records
The Island of Mallorca is famous for many things, with the name painting immediately pictures of sun and beautiful environment in mind, but will not necessarily be associated with Melodic Death Metal Scandinavian style. Nevertheless, Spanish five-piece ÆOLIAN are flying the Metal flag high there since 2016, and just released their third album on November 10th via Black Lion Records.
“Echoes of the Future” is the last chapter of a trilogy, that started 2018 with "Silent Witness" which told us about nature's greatness as well as resilience and the danger we submit its fragile balance. The story continued with "The Negationist" in 2020, taking the listener on an introspective trip to a place where darkness and hope merge, marked by the damage we are doing to our own planet but refuse to see. The new album embarks on a journey through the next centuries and puts us in the shoes of our counterparts from a not-so-distant future who will guide us through humanity's difficulties in order to survive on a planet that is increasingly inhospitable.
Opening with the mighty riff for "Hominis Obscura" followed by a relentless scream and the rhythm section firing on all cylinders, we can hear the "Echoes of the Future" loud and clear, with the first song illuminating a path that reveals our darkest mistakes. While most of the track rumbles forcefully out of the speakers, they weave in some peaceful guitar interludes. Next up is "Dreams or Reality", for which they keep this high tempo and again melt elements of Death and Black Metal, with the guitars delivering marvelous melodic parts in contrast to the harsh, powerful growls.
Compared to the two previous songs, "The Miracle" comes along on rather light feet and a catchy main motif, that gets its reprise instrumental- and vocal-wise. "Her Grief" returns into heavier fields, but with a surprising, mesmerizing piano part in between. Over the next songs they continue to work with these ingredients, skillfully switching between hard-hitting and calmer, atmospheric moments, with "Into the Flames" and "Echoes of the Future" standing out a bit more for me. The CD also includes two strong bonus tracks, "A City in the Stars" and "Wastelands", that deserve a listen and a mention here as well.
While some common opinion might claim stuff like "metal is only noise and screams", it's great to hear bands like ÆOLIAN expressing themselves musically about these kind of urgent topics, and even building up this concept over three albums. The trilogy's final chapter is mind-blowing yet accessible, well produced, diverse in its compositions, and even though they lose a bit of their initial high energy towards the end, "Echoes of the Future" as an entirety is another step forward for the Spanish powerhouse since the already amazing Negationist. With the stunning artwork by Ryan T. Hancock, they don't only deliver on the sonic but also (again) on the visual side - Recommended to crank it up \m/
Written by Katha
1. Hominis Obscura
2. Dreams or Reality
3. The Miracle
4. Her Grief
5. Like a Blackened Sun
6. Into the Flames
7. Lords of Greed
8. Echoes of the Future
9. Chronicles of the Fall
10. A City in the Stars (Bonus Track on the CD)
11. Wastelands (Bonus Track on the CD)
Dani Pérez - Vocals
Raúl Morán - Guitars & Trombones
Gabi Escalas - Guitars
Leoben Conoy - Bass
Pedro Martínez - Drums