AlbumsNovember 29, 20116,242 views

Element Aeons Past

1. Cursed Through Time MP3 2. Kronor VII 3. Sentiment Dissolve 4. Destiny of Illusion 5. Ethnologic Cybernetics 6. Inception of the Flagitious 7. Dying Suns Descend 8. Aeons Past 9. Within Singularity
2007 Brutal Bands
Our score 7


San Diego area sci-fi death metal unit Element dropped their long awaited debut earlier this year, after various issues derailed the release for nearly a year and a half, and while it is not as awe-inspiring or incredible as I had hoped from hearing some early tracks, it's definitely a solid first outing. Technically, Element is a three piece band comprised of Mason Gregory (guitar/vocals), Chris Lozano (guitar/vocals) and Joe Byrnes (bass) while KC Howard (Decrepit Birth) provided session drums. The first seven tracks are an onslaught of technical riffs, a good mix of roars/bellows/standard guttural vocals, admirable bass playing and some continuing proof of KC Howard's trap kit mastery, but the final two cuts showcase Element in a more experimental and progressive light with lots of clean guitars, jazzy fills and ambient spaces. Most of the material here is comparable to mid 90's Morbid Angel, Suffocation and in some spots, Broken Hope (though these are rare in regard to the latter). However, because of the tight knit finesse they exude, fans of bands like Necrophagist, Visceral Bleeding and Spawn of Possession will find lots to enjoy here. One thing I really do like about Element is that they tend to take different pathways rhythmically, never getting too bogged down in one particular pattern or style, blazing through manic beats and smoldering licks before slowing things down with lumbering, almost doom-like segues that echo on and on with ominous power and sinister grace. Standout tracks include "Kronor VII," "Destiny of Illusion," "Inception of the Flagitious," "Sentiment Dissolve" and the eerie title cut. Element and various members of the American death metal community were involved in bringing Aeons Past to life, with Matt Sotelo (Decrepit Birth) recording and mixing the album. Mastering comes courtesy of Colin Davis (Vile), the logo by Mike Majewski (Devourment), while guitarist/vocalist Mason Gregory recorded all vocals at the band's own studio. Everything sounds crisp and complete, while the admirable artwork from Neil Blevins (Soulburn Studios) is a perfect match to Element's lyrics. On that last note, though Element are far from the first death metal band to mine the topics of space, time and its philosophical/scientific/spiritual merits for inspiration (along with a multitude of bands such as Nocturnus, Cynic, Pestilence, Origin), it is a nice change of pace from the usual lyrical content about chowing down on the whisker biscuit of a recently deceased debutante, zombie apocalypse retellings that are grade D Romero rip-offs at best, or the absolute bottom of the barrel, hymns to Satan that while I'm sure are meant to be unholy and imposing have impact that's strictly Spinal Tap. With Aeons Past, most of the lines paint interesting pictures and on more than one occasion tell a good story, though the rhyming scheme sometimes employed can get tiresome and annoying. Bottom Line: If you love your death metal devoid of breakdowns, half-hearted horror film lyrics and overzealous (and usually totally unnecessary) guitar wizardry, then be sure to offer up an ear to Element. While this trio isn't presenting anything really new, they don't capitalize on current trends or try to be something they are not; instead they pay homage to classic death metal acts, explore other genres carefully and craft quality music consistently. Still, it feels as though this band could do so much more and hopefully they will make that ascension soon. Until they reach that pinnacle, Aeons Past is a notable entry into the annals of '07 death metal and beyond.


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LetMeEatThePooFromYourAss_ 7/13/2007 11:05:07 AM

i like the bit where you mention whisker biscuit

xRYBREADx_ 7/13/2007 11:14:16 AM

i'm midly interested in hearing this now, but lol @ the name of that label.

fvckyouyoufvckingfvck_ 7/13/2007 11:26:18 AM

greatest label name. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fvckyouyoufvckingfvck_ 7/13/2007 11:29:59 AM

all kidding aside element is pretty good shit. Quite simply if you like death metal you will like this band and this album. 7 sounds pretty good.

anonymous 7/13/2007 7:31:32 PM

br00tal bandz

anonymous 7/16/2007 10:14:07 AM

isn't kirby unrest in avenged sevenfold?

fvckyouyoufvckingfvck_ 7/24/2007 9:12:48 PM

boy this band really caught on.