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Album Reviews : Black Sun Aeon – Darkness Walks Beside Me

By on July 5, 2009

blacksunaeon_metalobsessionConsider this. Does any nation on earth manage to incorporate misery into music as well as bands from Finland? I am pretty sure that a strong case could be made for the negative, no pun intended, and Black Sun Aeon can be added to the long list of morose metallers deriving from that most depressive of nations.

“Darkness Walks Beside Me” is their debut album and is effectively the brainchild of Tuomas Saukkonen, also known for this work with Before The Dawn among others, who wrote all music and lyrics as well as performing guitars, drums, bass, keyboards and “dark” vocals. He is joined by Miko Heikkila who contributes clean vocals, and if you are familiar with his work in Sinamore you’ll recognise his voice instantly, together with guest vocal appearances by Tomi Koivusaari (Amorphis), Ville Sorvali (Moonsorrow) and Mynni Luukkainen (Sotajumala).

I have seen this described as death/doom in some places but listening to the CD reveals that, whilst there is certainly a strong doom element involved, the music incorporates a variety of the darker styles for which Finland has become renowned together with hints of early Katatonia and even Anathema to a degree.

As you’ll notice below each track constitutes a chapter and the subject matter is suitably despondent yet it is this bleak outlook that is the albums greatest appeal. Every line seems to decry the possibility of any hope for the future or joy in life and a peaceful death appears to be a welcome respite.

Obviously such music could be heavy going in large doses, particularly when it dwells in the mid-tempo, but the CD has fortunately been kept succinct. The crushing moments are regularly broken up by acoustic guitars and keyboards that contrast effectively with the driving rhythms and there is also a similarly effective contrast between the dual vocal styles of Mr Suakkonen and Mr Heikkila.

I have often pondered why music of this ilk can appeal to a listener when it is based around the darker emotions we feel. How does someone derive pleasure from listening to art so firmly rooted in misery when we spend our days trying to avoid such feelings?  I can’t answer that question but I can say that “Darkness Walks Beside Me” may not be for everyone, particularly those of a fragile disposition, yet for those inclined to the darker side of metal, like me, it could very well serve as the perfect soundtrack for a cold winter.  9/10

Band: Black Sun Aeon
Album: Darkness Walks Beside Me
Year: 2009
Genre: Dark Metal
Label: Cyclone Empire
Origin: Finland

Track Listing:
1. Chapter 1: A Song For The Introduction
2. Chapter 2: A Song For My Wrath
3. Chapter 3: A Song For My Demise
4. Chapter 4: A Song For My Sorrow (Reviewers Choice)
5. Chapter 5: A Song For My Weakness
6. Chapter 6: A Song For This Winter
7. Chapter 7: A Song For My Illness
8. Chapter 8: A Song For My Funeral
9. Chapter 9: A Song For The One Who Passed Away

Reviewed by Peter Schulz