Australia has a booming underground metal scene, which is coursed with deep, brutal veins of death metal. Aeon of Horus released their debut record in 2009, and since then have undergone a major lineup change and sound shift. Joining the fray are Pete Meere and Scott Carter, who replaced the outgoing Barry Feeney respectively.

Exile begins with the majestic keyboard swells that peppered Embodiment, but as the intro track gives way to the thundering Light, many elements of the original AoH sound are present; the disjointed tech riffs, the unremittingly tight pound of the double bass under staccato palm muting. The second part of the track gives way to a new sound that the band have taken on that brings on an atmosphere of pure, undiluted evil. Whereas Embodiment had the artwork to boot, it’s sound was still slightly stuck in the gore-drenched feel that many brutal death bands in Australia take, and only really began to shake that sound towards the end of the album with As The Earth Shatters.

The first song out on the web, Symbiosis, perfectly epitomises the new AoH sound. The majestic swell of keys give way to the melodic guitars with the progressive twist that lends to Porcupine Tree. Make no mistake, AoH are a death metal first and foremost and the heaviness permeates through every time change with Annand’s giant roar. The EP finishes off with a re-recording of As The Earth Shatters, and it is better in every single way than the version of Embodiment, not least for the guitar sounding smoother than a baby’s arse while still retaining the band’s signature rapid-fire heaviness.

The remix of Icon is…odd. It’s a pretty monged, and I must be missing something because it really doesn’t hit the mark. It’s like someone going to milk your prostate but at the last minute giving you a wedgie for your trouble.

                Exile is bone crunchingly visceral and mysteriously intelligent at the same time. If you don’t think so, I’ll pour yoghurt in your ear.

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