Monday, March 21

Aevum - The Creation of Power

The Creation of Power


"Peru eh? I wonder where this is going to end up." Such were my thoughts prior to hitting play on Aevum's The Creation of Power. My last couple of excursions into South American metal have proved to be sadly disappointing, but Aevum has luckily proven to be fairly safe despite hailing from a country not known for its broad offering of metal. Aevum play mildly progressive, moderately symphonic power metal that dabbles just a little in the darker melodic death side of things.

In general, this is nothing too out of the ordinary. However, the symphonic elements are somewhat strange and varied. The band mixes very bright, modern sounding synths with more classical orchestral strings, upright piano, and other traditional sounds with abandon. There are also times that the intertwining guitar, keyboard, and vocal lines are almost polyphonic. Combined, these tendencies result in a sound that is sometimes a chaotic mash of competing melodic lines. Then, when in true power metal form the catchy chorus comes sweeping in, I wonder what on earth the band is aiming at with their strange arrangements. At times, the combination of backing keys and running guitar leads actually DOES work. This confuses me further: why do some sections jar so badly when the band clearly has the capability to mesh and pump out some respectable music? The only conclusion I can come up with is that perhaps the keyboard player has ADHD, since he’s about half on, half off with what the rest of the band is trying to accomplish. Or maybe he snuck into the studio at night with a 750 of Patron and re-recorded some of his lines with these odd conflicting rambles. Stranger things have happened.

Vocally, this is reasonably good, but certainly not superb. The lead singer reminds me a bit of what Damnagoras might be like if he chose to sing a completely different version of power metal, forsaking some of the elements that make his singing so interesting while simultaneously becoming a bit more consistent. Regardless, this is acceptable vocal work, despite a few weak moments in the high register. The band also engages in a bit of death growling here and there. Luckily, I feel that it works to their advantage, adding a bit more bite and variety to some of their tunes without going overboard.

The accessibility of this album owes much to the vocal melody lines, since the rest of the band is in a bit of turmoil. The guitar solos are interesting, but sometimes a bit strange, straying a bit too much from the established tonality to really fit in. There's also a notable lack of hooky guitar leads in many places, and Aevum often tends to relegate its axemen to more monotonous chugging than is necessary. Consequently, guitar freaks will probably pass this album up in favor of something a bit more impressive and flashy.

Despite all of its shortfallings, The Creation of Power isn't a bad album, it just needs some help. Namely, the band mates need to establish a formula that results in less disorganized-sounding compositions. This is valuable to hear, if just to understand what is coming out of the budding South American metal scene, but there are bands that are more worthy of your attention and financial resources. Aevum have taken an important step just by releasing this however, for both themselves and their countrymen. Perhaps in a few years, another album by this band will really create a breakthrough, since the talent and drive seem to be present.
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The Protagonist's Rating: 6.0 out of 10

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