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Aodon’s “11069” is Anything But By-The-Numbers

Aodon 11069 Album Cover

Aodon knows where they want to take you. Their upcoming album 11069, beguiling as the artwork and title are, clearly lays out a path for the listener — and what a path it is, with huge, bulldozing motifs and rhythmic patternings hammered out through blast beats and wedged together into hardened post-black metal passages. Set out upon the journey now:

Even when the drumming and guitar work are relentless, there’s always an overarching rhythm to nod along to, and the furious screams overlaying the riffs are wielded as percussive emphasis. Musically intermixed between classic black metal riffing and spacier dissonance, melody is evident in the compositions, but not overwhelming — brief interludes punctuate the more extreme sections, letting layered guitar leads reverberate briefly alongside minimalist drums.

As the songs ramp back up from these moments, the yearning tones take on a beleaguered edge, growing heavier under the weight of anxiety and anger, such that the inevitable ensuing high-velocity firestorms serve as catharsis. “L’écho” takes such an approach, starting with a slow, heavy-hitting section that develops, around the one minute mark, into a thunderous tremolo riff — then begins a series of developments and escalations. I would have enjoyed more of the first riff, I suppose, but upon reaching the end of the song, it’s hard to argue with the effectiveness of the structure.

While this isn’t the straightforward black metal of years past, it’s not a pastoral shoegazing exploration either: Aodon has retained the serrated intensity of the genre’s origins. 11069 pushes the structure of black metal past its usual conventions, but the meat and potatoes are here and doled out plentifully through the expedition.

11069 releases March 27th via Willowtip Records.

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