You thought Aseitas were good before? Eden Trough pushes them further than ever before for a truly transcendental LP.

Release date: May 30, 2024 | Total Dissonance Worship | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

Aseitas really captured my attention with False Peace in 2020, a dense progressive death metal album that was less obscure for obscurity’s sake and more well-crafted, bisecting tunes with some atmosphere for the metal weirdo in us all. It was like freaky alien pervert metal, but still melodious and fun for how angular it could get. I expected more weirdness with their next project and… well, I didn’t really get it as much, but what I did get was an even deeper commitment to their progressive side which makes for their best work yet.

I say that confidently with the factor of recency bias not lost on me, but let’s check the score. Their first two albums were dirty death metal trips with some asides to make the work flourish and give it some variance. Eden Trough sees the band fully bloom, riding complex death metal like a crisp ocean wave, but grasping the blue sky above and bending it to their will, forging some of the loveliest progressive soundscapes I’ve heard matched up with heavy music in a while. What’s more is Aseitas reined things in a bit length-wise. While the band have never been overly ambitious, you don’t have to be an expert to see how much more shorter albums are death-gripping critical and fan praise alike. We all have ADHD, bro – we can’t do this shit for an hour-plus anymore, and frankly neither can most bands because the longer they go, the quicker we look for fat to trim. If I see one more 90-minute deluxe edition of an album, I swear…

Eden Trough feels like Aseitas just looked at “Horse of Turin” and went ‘that was pretty good, huh?‘ and decided to expound on that for a whole LP. I of course say this as a positive – that’s one of the best tracks on False Peace – and it’s not a hackneyed copy job either because Aseitas take the time and make the effort to reach waaaaaaaay further into the horse than they did with that one track. They didn’t even use one of those arm-length plastic glove things either so they could keep all the grime that fans are used to. The most impressive point of reference is the entirety of “Tiamat”, a song I’ve looped many times, maybe more than I have the album as a whole. It’s a ten-minute opus of grandeur, flanking some of the prettiest melodies and transitions of 2024 with cataclysmically raw and sundering metal. It’s really hard to gaze into the darkness under you when you have that rapturous blue sky above – likewise, staring into the stars gives you a sense of unease as you can feel the void-like glare licking at your spine as you indulge in the light. It’s the quintessential yin and yang song, an absolute must-listen for prog metal fans.

The fun doesn’t stop there either. “Break the Neck of Every Beautiful Thing” is a rigorous intro. No creepy noise or atmo, just a burst shot of riffs and drums to lead into this album. The instrumentation crawls and contorts around itself as the song progresses, some of the moments reminding me of the anxiety-ridden, tremolo-picked guitars that Thantifaxath made into a staple of their cavernous black metal. The vocals modulate from guttural, primal cries to raspy howls reminiscent of Jeff Walker of Carcass. “Libertine Captor” offs the kilter a tad more, but leans closer to the progressive side of things with soaring solos and some heavily-chugged melodies similar to those you would hear in a Weston Super Maim or Meshuggah album. Already, you can feel the pull of “Tiamat” later in the track list and it’s a beautiful thing.

“Alabaster Bones” is a bit of an epilogue for “Tiamat” before it. Equal parts power and pretty, this track ebbs and flows so well, feeling like time-space turning in on itself in the midsection because every destruction means a creation in kind. Fitting as the lyrics seem to reference the undoing of worlds and apocalyptic ends at the hands of greater beings.

Tattered gods slouch in their rags
Detritus of the vanished world
A wound spanned across time immemorial
Each memory recalled; must do violence to its origins.

It’s a profound end for an album that makes you feel like you were in a rolling cartoon fight cloud throughout much of its runtime, only able to breathe during the more serene moments that quiet the demons lining each track. Hell, even the interlude “Null Adam/Null Eve” is a great bridge between the albums two halves – it’s piano-driven and open, acting as a portal from one end to the other while playing to the more dramatic elements that death metal usually just flirts with. By the time you hear the cello come in, it’s apparent that what’s to come is no average song, but a fully-fledged experience as corny as that sounds. All five tracks just hit for one reason or another, but there’s always a reason and it’s always great.

Eden Trough is uncommonly good, built on the bones of abstract, shrouded metal by musicians with an ear for beauty and opulence where it matters. It’s a genuinely surprising piece in so many ways and anyone that sought to box Aseitas in will find said box reduced to ash with this little album that could. I can’t stop playing it – even when I’m not playing it, it plays in my head. How? The power of memory and imagination? Absurd. It’s like this album gave my brain a firmware update that I didn’t expect, but wholly appreciate. This is one project that will be with me for quite some time.

Band photo by Sam Forencich

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

"I came up and so could you, and fuck the boys in blue" - RMR

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