I don’t know if France has been holding out on us or if I have just been woefully ignorant of how many incredible bands call the country home. However, now they have my full attention. Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering new releases and bands from France that continue to blow my mind. The best part? The variety of sounds and sub-genres they offer. One band in particular has captured my attention: Aodon.
Aodon is gearing up to release their highly anticipated third album, “Portraits,” on June 9th. Let me assure you, within just two minutes into the first track, I was scrambling to pre-save “Portraits” and searching for the vinyl preorder. While Aodon describes themselves as an atmospheric black metal band, this label merely scratches the surface of their captivating sound.
“Portraits” masterfully blends elements of post-rock and black metal in a way that exceeds all expectations. It’s as if Explosions in the Sky delved headfirst into black metal while retaining their signature vocals. Throughout the album, you’ll encounter ambient and reverb-laden moments that seamlessly transition into brutal and anguished riffs accompanied by powerful vocals. Adding to the overall experience, melodic and ambient guitar leads pervade each song, enhancing the captivating atmosphere. The album maintains a deliberate pace, ensuring no song overstays its welcome. If you enjoy bands like Deafheaven but occasionally find their songs or ambient sections lingering too long, “Portraits” is the perfect album for you.
In conclusion, “Portraits” by Aodon exemplifies the essence of an ambient black metal masterpiece. It possesses a distinct and cohesive feel that keeps you engaged from start to finish. Each track stands on its own merits, yet the album as a whole is simply too exceptional to resist.
Overall Score: 10/10
Review by: Dan Perretta