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Rise To Dominate
(Metal Blade Records)

Of all the bands out in the void that is the underground at this moment, it is surprising to me that Brian Slagel owner of Metal Blade Records would "OK" a DEICIDE knockoff to his roster. Granted Metal Blade has been signing some real shit in the past few years... SPOCK'S BEARD, ENGINEER, IF HOPE DIES, a band called THREE, AS I LAY DYING, SONIC REIGN, JOB FOR A COWBOY, SHAI HULUD, UNEARTH, NEAERA, CELLADOR and lets not forget the terminal YOB. It still is surprising to me, that in all this time that Brian has run Metal Blade, that he has lost sight of the primary objective of a record label. To sort through the endless sea of shit and hopefully sign a real gem! This seems to be record company 101 common knowledge. The fact that if you're going to sign a band they ought to have at least some shred of venerable worth, yes? Originality being the key, and talent being paramount, and all of that. I mean, isn't this the whole idea of why supposed Metal / Death Metal bands form in the first place? To set themselves apart from all the rest, apart from the hordes of the weak, apart from those who sound like somebody else? To stand a foot taller than your average bar band, who play covers for money a.k.a. the real poseurs. Am I wrong? To see Brian go the distance for a band like this that he could easily have found in his own backyard of southern California playing anywhere in Hollywood on any given night is a bit grievous. To see Brian make such an honest effort all the way to Sweden to pick these guys up when bands like INTERMENT, NECROVATION, ETERNAL DARKNESS, TRIBULATION, NOMINON, CRYPT OF KERBEROS, PAGANIZER, INSISION, RIBSPREADER and REPUGNANT (... even if the ghouls of this particular act say they're defunct, for the right deal I am sure a miracle of demon resurrection would occur overnight!) lie in wait is almost abominable. To sign this AEON, and so as not to be confused with the other three AEONs still in service. One hailing from Sweden also and who play Stoner Rock out of Varnamo, the other from Italy who play a sort of aggressive technical Metal, and the last from Croatia who have been around since the early 90s and are Death Metal inclined. To sign this particular Swedish DEICIDE err... AEON is nothing sort of a classic rookie move. However, I'll be fair and agree the flip side to that statement is that even seasoned vets can make a mistake here and there. Brian though, as I am scanning his roster, surely has been making quite a few lapses in judgment in recent times. Hopefully Brian won't end up overloaded with this burgeoning stack of crap that I see now as label-mates to AEON. P.S. In reply to the news off their Myspace site, I'd like to congratulate the cromags of AEON... Way to go! Nice bonehead move to slap your new American record company (who you just signed with) in the mouth, by declining their offer of personally setting you up to be included on that label's 25th Anniversary U.S. Tour! And no, not just any American company but fucking Metal Blade Records! Yes, only Metal Blade, only "the" Brian Slagel offering you all a once in a lifetime opportunity, that you knuckleheads just dropped like it was only so much shit. An honorary mention also goes out to you lot for trying to spin this in your blogs and on your website as happening because it conflicted with some so called "personal family business" of your drummer Nils, but more importantly... conflicted with upcoming DARK FUNERAL gigs. Are you fucking kidding me?! DARK FUNERAL?! May I say that unless Nils is donating a kidney, a lung, or his actual bone marrow to a dying relative, any band manager worth their salt would be ready to fuckin' kill on command about this and tell Nils to sack it up about any potential roadblock of "personal family business". It can either be handled in one of two ways, either once the Metal Blade tour is finished or if Nils had any gumption, he would see to the matters are taken care of prior to leaving for the Metal Blade tour! The very worst-case scenario of this would be to get a hired gun to sit in on the tour, and what with almost every square inch of Sweden hosting some sort of Metal band you mean to tell me you couldn't locate a proper replacement? Did you even bother to look outside of your hometown? Like say in Sundsvall? I'm sure Hakan of SETHERIAL could easily of stepped in to help you all out, and SETHERIAL is like less than two hours away driving time! While we are on the subject a bit further down the coastline is DEMONICAL. If Ronnie Bergerståhl couldn't play this simplistic brutality AOEN create I'll be goddamned. And what's worse is that DEMONICAL have no shows upcoming until December 29th, so even though the distance might be a bit much at first, you mean to say Ronnie could not have been courted to possibly learn your shit, stay at one or more of your homes whilst he knocked these out and then play a two month tour and still make it back in time for his fellas in DEMONICAL? It's plausible, yes? If for some unknown reason Ronnie couldn't have done it how about the ragers of INTERMENT? Not only friends and bandmates of DEMONICAL, however one of the best drummers on that coast also happens to reside in INTERMENT by the name of Kennet Englund, and you couldn't of asked him either? And that is exactly what I mean when I say that it absolutely kills me how utterly lame those undeservent of fame and (possible) fortune handle their business when their balls are on the line. To sit here and read on your site that you all would turn down a proverbial granny tossed softball pitch to promote your new album, tour the States, and reap the benefits (of whatever god that you pray to and who obviously got you signed to Metal Blade in the first place...) that are being dropped in your lap is insulting to me to say the very least. Especially when you back up your tour resignation here with the fact that you all tried to locate someone to fill Nils place, but that all you could find was some local 'head who normally plays in the vein of JUDAS PRIEST's "Painkiller " album. Give it a rest, already won't ya? You all should be ashamed. A country renowned the world over for Metal musicians as Sweden and you simply cannot even locate one drummer in the time for this tour (... that is occurring now as I type this review...) is preposterous. How about try a bit harder than opening your front door to see if anyone is standing there, holding a pair of drumsticks in their hand. How about that? And while we are at it, what an insult this read is here on your site to all those unfortunates who think AEON is the next best thing to beer, and who took the time to go to your websites and write such heartfelt comments as " Duuuuuuuude! This Suckkkkkkkks that you had to cancel!!!" or " Whaaat the Fucckkkkkkkkkk! " in sincere response to your pathetic excuse not to honor your new label's tour contract. I ask myself who in the fuck is running the camp of AEON? To pass up Metal Blade Record's 25th Anniversary / celebratory tour with the known fact that AEON would get the chance to play amongst a bevy of other acts albeit that aren't monumental, but at least similar in nature more or less to AEON's style (even if it ain't really "your own" style if you know what I am sayin'... Hoffman Brothers are you listening?). Yet they are definitely a par fucking above in comparison to a haggard Black Metal band - a damn sure far cry above the miserable DARK FUNERAL! Not withstanding either that as a bonus you get to prove your worth against one of the world's best in Death Metal; the legends of CANNIBAL CORPSE! Holy fuck and you can't make this happen? Reading that text on your site makes me want to vomit. I mean that. To see such an undeserving act as AEON fail to even swing at an obvious home run pitch, the very least they could do for their newly acquired Metal label of so much immense fucking prestige as Metal Blade. To know all the hard work of those at Metal Blade, those that always go nameless. Who work behind the scenes and who invested their time, effort and energy into signing you, planning and strategizing your album's outcome, getting you situated to be included on this Anniversary tour only to have you fuck it all up right out of the gate is nothing short of inexcusable. Go back to Paranoia Syndrome if you are going to pull this kind of amateur shit and see how far you get! Quit wasting people's time. You're in the majors now. Act like it. Contact: or or

Wes Rhodes

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