I N D E P E N D E N T   F E A T U R E :   A E O N 

by: Brian Meloon

"There is no dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die."
-- H.P. Lovecraft, as quoted by guitarist Paolo Gavocanov

Proving once again that the language of metal knows no boundaries are Croatia's Aeon. I first heard them in the summer of 1995, when their keyboardist Sinisa "Sipy" Bival sent me copies of their two demos: demo #1 (1993, when they were still called Dissection), and demo #2 (1994). They were reviewed way back in CoC #2, and their second demo was given unending praise. I recently asked guitarist Paolo Gavocanov and Sipy some questions about the band and their forthcoming debut album.
Since their inception in 1989 as Dissection, the band has gone through numerous lineup changes and a name change. Eventually, the lineup settled down, and has remained constant since the beginning of 1994. However, their name is a different story, as Sipy explains; "The name has always been a problem, but I don't think we're gonna change it. I guess that we're not lucky with our name. I mean when the band was called Dissection, the Swedish guys released their debut _Somberlain_. We figured it would be appropriate to change the name. Now I know of 3 different bands with name AEON, but I don't care about that. We like this name." Hailing from Croatia also made it difficult for the band. "The scene isn't much here. It could be better," says Sipy. "I can say that there are more people that are listening to underground metal bands than bands existing in the scene. The problem is always the same: lack of equipment, space for rehearsals and finally there are not so many places where you can play." Still, the band has managed to promote itself in the European underground, appearing on Dennis Ippel's compilation tapes _A Waste of Tape #1 and #2_, as well as having their video for "Congest" (from demo #1) shown on Croatia's _Metal Mania_ TV show.
Although demo #1 was straight ahead death metal, the band progressed towards a more technical and melodic style. In Sipy's words, "Our music has its phases. If you would listen to _demo #1_ and to the stuff we're doing now, you would see a progression going on. From that straightforward death metal, we built our own style. The main thing was the absence of Sasa [Ristic, their former guitar player. He left for military service]. Then Paolo, who's doing all the riffs, is always going for something new, he doesn't like to play the same thing twice, believe me. The keyboard stuff did the thing also, especially by doubling scales and melodies to the guitar. It resulted in a more original musical output. I'm not saying that it's unique but it has its originalities. It's technical, melodic, heavy. We use many different metal styles and other styles that are not metal to express ourselves." Paolo concurs, "I'm a very impatient type of human being, and I really don't like playing always the same songs, and I neither like to play always the same type of music, and it is reflected clearly in my music." Personally I would describe their overall sound as technical, melodic death metal, though the band resists classification, with Sipy citing the usual objection that, "Kids seem to listen to a particular style only because of the trend or something." Paolo is a little more descriptive; "Our music is a sort of progressive metal, and it is the only way in which I can classify it."
Currently, the band is preparing to release their debut album on the newly formed Baldrick Hell's Kitchen Records run by Jordi "Billu" Bellaubi, formerly of Abstract Emotions. They are in the process of recording as I write this, and should be finished by the time you read it. In the meantime, BHK will rerelease Aeon's _demo #2_ as a cassette EP under the title _Clean Hands of Eternal Gods_. The re-released version will feature a new live track, "Portent", but will be without the keyboard outro "Dissicated". BHK will also be releasing a home video of the band including covers and studio shots of the band as well as their video for "Blinded by the Afterlife" (from demo #2).
Their forthcoming full-length debut album should be a diverse offering, as the band has continued to move into a more progressive sound. Paolo mentions that the new album will feature "some old hippie-groove parts like the old Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus stuff. Of course there'll be lots of guitar & keyboard solos. I hope you'll like this one, they'll not be recorded all in half an hour. [Ed. note: This was my only real complaint with demo #2, see CoC #2], and I hope that there'll be lots of samples (my new passion) on this record." Sipy informed me that the sound would be more like Atheist and Cynic than their previous work. When asked to elaborate, Sipy explains, "We all listen to both of them and we're all highly opinionated about them, but our goal isn't to sound like them. We're going on an original thing. The style will be technical, that's for sure." Quelling my fears that the band were abandoning the complex, technical, melodic death metal style of _demo #2_, Paolo assures me, "There'll be different styles on this record because we'll record two old songs [one from the first demo] with some enhancements and modifications, there'll be 4 or 5 semi-old songs, and there'll be a brand new one which will surely sound different, so I guess it will not be boring." Sipy adds, "On the album, we'll have songs with so many different riffs and many of them are technical, melodic death metal."
After the release of the album, Aeon hope to do a month-long European tour to support it, a prospect that Sipy calls, "Our dream come true." What does the future hold for them? In Paolo's words, "My MIDI-Guitar, and a new Aeon, with lots of samples and overlayed musical styles. I have plans to do some strange crossovers from free jazz, hippie-groove, pure heavy-metal, some melodic speed-metal and power-metal like Pantera."

Band contact:

c/o Sipy Bival
Laginjina 11
51000 Rijeka

E-mail: sbival@mapef.pefpu.hr