Distant – Aeons Of Oblivion Album Review
Album Name: Aeons Of Oblivion
Release Date: 11 June 2021
Genre: Downtempo Deathcore/Blackened Deathcore
Label: Unique Leader Records
Alan Grnja – Vocals
Nouri Yetgin – Guitar
Vladimir Golic – Guitar
Eise Smit – Guitar
Elmer Maurits – Bass
Jan Mato – Drums
Distant are truly a band with unrelenting momentum that do not know what it means to take a break or
even sleep. After the release of two EPs, Dawn Of Corruption and Dusk Of Anguish, the Dutch/Slovakian
downtempo deathcore juggernauts finally unleash their latest full length album, Aeons Of Oblivion,
which is a culmination of what two the aforementioned releases were all building up to and boy does it
deliver on everything it promised and more.
Aeons Of Oblivion serves as a conclusion to the epic tale of the dark fantasy world of Tyrannotophia by
combining all the tracks from the two EPs into one, chronologically ordered, and brutal package along
with a plethora of new tracks that only enhance the listening experience and with some new guest
vocalists to boot.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. This album is super heavy. As in it will literally make your
headphones and/or speakers get wrecked by the sheer pounding nature of the drums and the bass.
Accompanied with some of the most unique take on eerie synths and Alan Grnja’s beastly vocals and
you have the perfect recipe for an audible assault on your senses.
When I reviewed the Dusk Of Anguish EP earlier this year, I touched on the fact that each track is
expertly composed with subtle passages and motifs being used through the drums, the breakdowns, or
the synths that link each track to either the main plot of subplots being told throughout the story of
Tyrannotophia. It was one thing to listen to these songs at the time each EP dropped and guess where
they fit in with the grand scheme of things separately. But finally being able to experience the story with
the tracks arranged in chronological order only enhances the immersion of the listening experience and
is definitely worth every minute. Even if you aren’t one who cares for concept records, each song can be
enjoyed individually on their own without having to dedicate time to listening to the album as a whole
which is a rare thing when it comes to concept albums.
The use of bass guitar is another strength on this album. While it’s not executed in a flashy style like that
of bands like Tool or Mudvayne, it is given moments to shine and play a role in the music which doesn’t
often happen in extreme metal, especially in the core side of metal. So huge props to Elmer on finding a
tone that adds to the overall heaviness of Distant’s soundscape and production style.
The drumming from Jan Mato is once again stellar with a variety of tempos being showcased from
traditional death metal blast beasts to more ominous doom metal passages or groove laden moments
that really give the slams and the breakdowns an extra kick along with a killer drum tone.
The album is also jam packed with a lot of guest vocalists. Names such as Mendel bij de Leij (ex-
Aborted), Adam Warren (Oceano), Lochie Keogh (Alpha Wolf), John Robert C (The Last Ten Seconds Of
Life), and Kyle Anderson (Brand Of Sacrifice) all feature on this album and each of them bring something
different to the table. This might come off as biased, but, Adam Warren and Kyle Anderson definitely
shined on the songs they featured on, these tracks being the title track, Aeons Of Oblivion, and The
Tyrant’s Covenant. Namely because their vocal styles are so distinct and recognizable that it is hard to
miss their sections, even if you have never heard any songs from their respective bands before.
Of course we cannot forget the vocals of Alan Grnja. His vocal style is also very unique and distinct and
does a great job in complimenting not only the instrumentals, but, the dynamic between himself and
the guest vocalists. From black metal shrieks, slamming pig squeals, and low gutturals, Alan has it all
while approaching this techniques with his own spin on them thus making them all his own. He is also
very good at narration and if Distant ever decide to make their book on Tyrannotophia into an
audiobook with voice acting, he should play the role of at least one of the characters as the narration
passages enhance the more atmospheric segments of the album.
Speaking of atmosphere, I cannot begin to compliment Distant’s distinct style and approach to synths
and orchestration enough. Too often bands will either go for a symphonic element or use samples akin
to that of Emperor’s In The Nightside Eclipse album to create ambience or an epic tone to the
soundscape. But Distant just take all that, throw it out the window, an create some of the most weird
and near outer dimensional takes on choral segments while throwing in a bunch of odd melodies and
sounds that come out of nowhere, bombarding your senses and creating a true sense of hellish chaos.
The only pitfall of this record is that, for a downtempo deathcore record, it is a tad bit too long and, in a
dedicated listening session, can feel a little repetitive at times. While there are some tracks that serve as
interludes between chapters of the concept that indeed help in getting you prepared for the next round
of brutal assault, I feel the record could have benefitted more from perhaps adding more variety to the
songs like what Worm Shepherd did on In The Wake Ov Sol. Perhaps like having more synth based tracks
with a slight acoustic element for atmosphere and more narration passages or clean vocals that
complement some of their slam and blackened deathcore influences. But other than that, Aeons Of
Oblivion slaps and is overall a great record.
I do hope we see more concept albums of this scale from the core scene in the future so we can only
hope that Distant are the band that kick starts that trend. In short, Aeons Of Oblivion is an album that
needs to be experienced in full at least once and is by far one of the most ambitious releases from the
deathcore scene in recent history. It is heavy, it is dark, it is experimental, it is everything you could want
from a modern deathcore album and more! Go and listen to Aeons Of Oblivion today!
Written By: Russell Gainsford