music review: Aeges – DrOmmen

I’m still catching up on some of the music I’ve picked up – I was able to finally buy a few things I’ve been streaming a lot in the last 6 months. Gang, this might sound CRAZY, but I ACTUALLY BUY the music. I don’t know how to explain my choices but I check to see where the band has their stuff loaded and if the purchase tends to favor them. I don’t know what contracts look like post-Napster but the percentage doles out to bands on a quarterly basis for album sales was already low, and only after bands experienced “recoupment,” which is a phrase most people in other art forms don’t experience (hopefully). It’s why I’m gung ho about buying, and generally directly from the band if their label allows it (like, is their Bandcamp listing and sales independent of their label?).

I could be here all day about that, or what I think I know (and how irrelevent it might be in this day of streaming). So let me talk about the screamin’ emo and loud guitars of a really great band, Aeges, and their new very short but very good album DrOmmen.

I picked up their debut The Bridge around the time it was released and it was pretty good – some really strong among some so so material. I was on the fence the but strong material was strong for a reason, so they were worth keeping an ear out for in the future. They’ve released two albums since (Above & Down Below, Weightless), both of which reach the potential hinted on The Bridge, and get consistently better throughout. The band’s sound features some catchy hooks and alternatin’ singin’ to screamin’ vocals. The guitars are a great dense tone and are at a hard rock pace: too fast for stoner doom, too slow for death metal. So, I guess they better hit the Sunset Strip with their shoe gazin’ angst. Normally this would be a huge turn off but I can’t turn my ears away, so while doin’ a bit of back trackin’ to use some gift cards for music buyin’, I saw they had a new EP. Or 7 song album. DrOmmen (can’t do the letter effect at the moment, sorry).

It starts off strong with Drifter, with the verse’s vocal lines being the hook that carries the song. Pain has a pounding opening (& between lyric) riff that hints as the heavy potential this band delivers later in the song. It’s not that I’ve not been a fan of the singing – I keep callin’ it screamin’ emo and who wants to be referenced as that? – the music has been the hook, but on this album the vocals are the driving force and the first thing I notice going in on their 4th release. It’s really not until Dreamstate are there roller coaster ride rhythms that carry favorites on previous albums. There’s just not any sleepers or filler, so I guess it’s a shorter album because they cut the fat and the music is more complementary to the singing such as on Blind & Dreaming and Believer.

It’s obvious what I personally look for from this band – a heavier hard rock to muscle in on the edge of metal but unlike some other wannabes, they’ve always felt like the real deal and not a buncha rock poseurs. You know what I mean, the kind in leather pants and dyed black hair and eyeliner and they’ve spent all their time to look that tough but it’s still “ooh baby” and none of them ever heard of At The Gates or Carcass.

LISTEN TO AT THE GATES AND CARCASS, is what I’m saying. But also check out Aeges, who are consistent and consistently better on this too-short release. Good jorb! Two coffees up. You can pick this up on Bandcamp and also visit their official site.

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