Swedish Death Metal machinery Aeon is back after 9 years’ break with their fifth full length entitled God Ends Here so have invited their guitar player Daniel Dlimi to give us all the info we needed about it…
Greetings Aeon and welcome to the pages of Metal sound! How are you guys doing these days?
Daniel: Hi and thanks for having us. We are doing just fine over here with the album release closing in and all.
God Ends Here is finally in front of us and my first question would be – what the Hell took you guys so long? Nine years have passed, what made this long break?
Daniel: Our last album “Aeons Black” was released in the late 2012 and we started a pretty extensive touring cycle in 2013 for that album. During the following 3 years there was some lineup changes. I decided to call it quits towards the end of 2013, the band found a new guitarist to replace me, did some touring with him and it did not work out for everyone so he left the band. Being unable to find a suitable guitarist the guys decided to continue as a 4-piece band. And at the end of the touring cycle when it was time to start working on the new album, our drummer Emil decided to leave the band. This leaving the band with an incomplete line-up. And finding a new drummer who stands up to our requirements are not easy to say the least. So not being a full band, the band did not work so hard on writing new songs due to this. In 2019 Timo joined the band as a drummer and the band started to write songs in a more serious manner. Later that year, I rejoined the band after being absent since September 2013. And when things finally started moving forward again, this Corona virus hit us and we where once again put on hold with a very unclear near future. Since Timo, our drummer where living in Finland and with the closed borders and other restrictions, it became impossible for us to work under these circumstances. And for the sake of getting an album done, we decided to let Timo go and went for a session drummer who was living in Sweden instead. So, we recruited Janne Jaloma for the job since he is an absolute beast behind the kit and his drumming style fits us just perfect. This at least made the recording of the album possible.
God Ends Here is logical continuation of Aeons Black and I would even say that this is perhaps the most ambitious Aeon album, would you agree with me here? For example the album literary starts of where the previous one ended, can you explain this?
Daniel: We had an idea that this record would pick up where the previous one left off. So, we wrote an intro “The Nihilist” that is very reminiscent of how the last song ends on “Aeons Black”. It even had the working title “Aeons Back” before it got its real title. We also wanted to have a recurring theme on this album, so if you listen carefully, you will notice that a certain melody will appear in a couple of the songs, either as a guitar riff or orchestral arrangement with small variations. We wanted the album to feel like a conceptual album without being so lyrically. Besides the orchestral and ambient passages in between some songs, we also decided to incorporate orchestral parts in some of the songs as well. By doing so, I think we managed to give the album a darker and more sinister vibe as a whole.
The base of God Ends Here is of course blasphemous DM but you have added a lot of symphonic and melodic elements without losing your sharpness. Can you please tell us where those influences come from?
Daniel: It’s Zeb who has written most of the orchestral parts on the album besides the “Mephistopheles” track that was written and arranged by me. I based that one on the albums theme melody I mentioned in the previous question. I think Zeb’s main influences for his parts mainly comes from classical music and horror soundtracks.
The lyrical content of God Ends Here is typical of Aeon – hate and disgust for religions. Have the state of the world in this horrible pandemic added some extra source of inspiration?
Daniel: No, not really. It’s all the same good old hate for religions except for a few songs that is about torturing and killing people. The pandemic just sucks in a very non-inspirational way.
In regards to the previous album, you have some new faces in the line up. Can you present them to the readers and tell us how are you satisfied with them up to now?
Daniel: First, we have Tony Östman on bass. He joined the band back in 2012 for the touring cycle on “Aeons Black”. So even if he has been in the band for 9 years, this is the first album he appears on. He is a great bass player and he also brought some great song writing to the table. He wrote both the music & lyrics for the songs “Severed” and “Deny them Eternity” on this album. He really embraced the Aeon-style but added his own touch to them as well, which is great and widener the variation of the album a bit more.
Then there is Jane Jaloma on drums. He is not really a band member, but is drumming for us on a session-based agreement. He did an absolutely amazing job recording the drums for the album.
Aeon always had killer cover arts and for this time you have selected Paolo Girardi – can you please tell us how did you come in contact with him and the meaning behind cover art? Are there some other big names you would like to work with?
Daniel: Thanks man! We were browsing through his previous work on Instagram and really liked his style. We all agreed that it would be cool having him doing our album cover. So, we contacted him and asked if he was interested in collaborating with us on this record, which he was. We pointed out some of his previous paintings that had a style that appealed to us a little extra. We then described an idea we had with very simple words and then allowed him to go nuts with his artistic freedom and create his own vision of what we described. I think the result is outstanding.
Aeon have slowly but surely developed its own style in death metal world so can you please tell us how do you regard originality vs quality debate in metal?
Daniel: Tommy and Zeb have been playing death metal together since 92/93 in Defaced Creation. I also did played death metal at the time, but in different band, but it was the same type of style as them. So, the three of us have been doing this since the early 90’s. And having the same influences back in the early 90’s like Deicide, Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse etc., it was pretty easy for me to find my spot in Aeon when I joined in 2001. So, originality… nah, maybe not so much. But I think we definitely have been a part of evolving the style through the years and also brining some stuff to the table, even if the main ingrediency in Aeon has always been based on the classic 90’s Florida style death metal. We have always been writing and playing the type of music we would like to listen to ourselves, and also trying to improve ourselves as musicians and song writers along the way.
Aeon is from Sweden but you guys have always sounded much more American so to say. How did your development in Swedish underground look like and are you bigger in USA than in Europe?
Daniel: Yea, like I answered in the previous answer… Our main influences in the early 90’s was definitely bands like Deicide, Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. Sure, Sweden had a lot of awesome bands back in the 90’s like Entombed, Dismember and Grave etc. but for us, the American style of death metal was a tad bit more brutal and up our alley. So, that was the style we wanted to go for. When we signed a deal with Metal Blade Records, we actually were signed to the US Metal Blade office directly by Brian Slagel and not the European one initially. So yea, I think our biggest fan base are in the US.
God Ends Here video is released, do you think that videos have their place in this Youtube day and age?
Daniel: Yea, for sure. YouTube is the #1 source to watch metal music videos on. It’s not like in the good old days with MTV and Headbangers Ball and their Triple trash treat that was once a week. I still appreciate music videos very much, even lyrics videos and visualizers are cool.
I know that it is hard to plan anything nowadays but do you have some plans to promote God Ends Here in live environment?
Daniel: Yes, we definitely want to, but we are once again suffering from an incomplete lineup due to lack of permanent drummer. We are working on this issue and hopefully we will be able to bring Aeon to the stage once again.
And my last question would be – have you ever played acoustic version of God Gives Head in Heaven live?
Daniel: Hahahaha, no… never. It would require a complete bluegrass band on stage with banjos and all that shit to pull it off.
That would be all for this occasion, I would like to thank you for your time and wish you all the best! Your last message…
Daniel: Thanks for your time and keep supporting metal. Cheers!
Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic
Answers by Daniel Dlimi