The Ailing Facade
Review by Benjamin on March 28, 2022.
As the debut full-length from a cast of characters who have a background in some wildly differing bands (Artificial Brain / Fawn Limbs / Tombs) I wasn’t sure what to expect from Aeviterne, other than that it was likely to be complex, challenging, and high quality. It is immediately apparent that all of the above is absolutely correct, and if anything, Aeviterne are even harder to digest than some of the members previous bands, their amorphous sound dripping through the hands of any listener foolhardy enough to try and grasp it for long enough to study closely. Murky, without being cavernous, listening to The Ailing Facade feels a little like trying to take in a large canvas through only a pinhole – one can focus on individual components of the band’s sound, a flurry of hyperactive drum fills here, an angular dissonant guitar melody there, but at every turn, it seems that no sooner does one part of the puzzle come into sharper clarity, then another part is lost forever, tumbling into the abyssic ether.
At its heart, Aeviterne’s debut is complex and monolothic, but not exactly technical death metal, sharing elements of the kind of sound that Dead Congregation, or Immolation specialise in, without ever aping any other band too closely. There are also distinct hardcore and industrial influences gnawing at the fringes of the songs, not least in singer G.B.’s dry bark, and the clanging, metal-on-metal resonance of the pounding bass. Imagine Ulcerate sharing a rehearsal room with Integrity, while Godflesh look on, and you won’t be too far away from conjuring the sort of noise that Aeviterne delight in spewing up from their collectively nauseated stomachs. Aeviterne don’t stick too rigidly to any single sub-genre though – the excellent ‘Stilled The Hollows’ Sway’ and ‘Penitent’ both showcase the kind of grinding gothic black metal gloom that have made The Ruins Of Beverast such a significant band over the last decade, with clean arpeggios developing crystalline melodies over queasy discordant drones, and pounding, ritualistic tribal drum patterns propelling the coruscating dirge ever forwards. Perhaps those particular Dutch masters offer something of a template for Aeviterne. A goal of achieving constant evolution, without ever losing the essence of the band is an admirable aspiration, and as this band perhaps find a more singular voice over time, it will be fascinating to witness whether they are able to ascend to a similar level of supremacy. It is certainly not out of the question.
Rating: 8.7 out of 10303