Aeon Cult is shorter than some of Owl’s previous songs, let alone releases! This EP is the third release in a year from Owl, following on from Into the Absolute and The Last Walk in 2014. It continues their progression through the weirder fringes of doom.
Opener The Abyss brings jangling discord to a crushing riff pattern, adopting an almost Meshuggah type groove within a monolithic doom framework. Churning heaviness plunders new depths, and the ethereal weirdness of Ravage bellows with primal thunder. The slow and deliberate percussive assault underpins the groove and provides a base for each lumbering, tectonic riff. You can almost imagine yourself becoming that album cover, as each uneasy riff is piped into your brain. Your face contorts, attempting to understand just why you feel sick but yet mesmerised.
The stomping Mollusk Prince closes the EP with a flourish; an unstoppable juggernaut of doom that comes on slow but steady, relentless, unbreakable. It’s difficult to explain what is so good about this EP. It’s almost painfully short for the style, to the point where you’re totally ready to fall into the void and follow the path it is taking you. Then it’s over. The good thing is, if you put it straight back on, the feeling remains. Each listen reveals new strangeness in the background of the music. Odd effects loom in the murk, while the slightly manic vocal delivery gives you an extra dose of brutality.
Aeon Cult is probably too short to jump up anyone’s best of lists at the end of the year. But I’ll tell you what, Owl have this addictive, sickening groove and an eerie, esoteric ambience about their riffing that is captivating. Short but ultimately, supremely sweet.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson