I keep finding little, unknown gems that seem to oscillate between a liminal, musical space that drifts between sounds. Or, so I keep telling myself as I try to grasp at straws at the multiple facets and textures of Erebe’s debut album, Aeon. An album that spans multiple sounds and atmospheres, Aeon has truly left me wondering whether I have fabricated its elegance or whether it is that poignant in my mind. Let’s discuss.
On the first half of the album, Erebe presents a more traditional post-metal front, one that heavily reminded me of Playgrounded’s The Death of Death, as they both have this burning intensity. From the first minute of “Structures,” Erebe takes your hand and pulls you towards the unknown, as they showcase how seamlessly they shift from sludgy post-metal to energetic post-rock within one vocal change. Because of these shifts, the listener will constantly be on their toes as the sounds seem to drift in and out of a liminal space. At many times, the music seems to come out of a compressed space, and all you can do is listen along as you try to keep up with the numerous musical tones. What helps give the album a heavier and cleaner tone is the shifting across two main voices, each with their own harmony and melody. They both interplay with each other – one is warm, like a lullaby, while the other is darker, more nuanced. It brings forth this balance that lets them remain rooted as the atmosphere shifts and ebbs. It’s almost seamless how the vocals harmonize with each other, they work so well together that you forget that you are listening to separate songs.
Then, on the second half of the album, the songs become more experimental, more of what I have been slowly becoming used to. Here, the songs have an edge, drifting past the warmth of the first half and into something that feels like a crushing weight. The scales of balance tip more towards more progression, more chaos. Down are the barriers of what made the music so easy to listen to, so easy to dive in. Gone are the training wheels and the hand holding; here, Erebe showcase the steel underneath the silk. This is most prominent on “Sun Leak,” a song that emphasizes the harsh vocals that are heard throughout the album. Here, they are a siren’s call to the curious, asking you to suspend your disbelief. Everything is clear and momentous and heavy, and you can only think that it cannot get any better than this, that it can become heavier than it is. And finally, there’s “The Collector,” a 10-minute behemoth that showcases what Erebe are truly capable of. With Luc Lemay (of Gorguts fame!) acting as the third vocalist, the song shifts into new territory, sliding into new skin and becoming something else. At times, it felt like a The Ocean song, filled with cavernous tones and dynamic vocals that want to make you headbang to your heart’s content.
For a debut, Aeon is an incredibly polished work of art that ticks off all of the right boxes for post-metal enjoyers. The music and production are solid and I can’t help but believe that this is an album that I will revisit towards the end of the year. Aeon is everything and nothing at once, and I don’t know how else to describe it except that you just have to listen to it.