AEON SABLE: AENIGMA (Solar Lodge 2023)

The new album of the german Aeon Sable with Solar Lodge is being released after 5 really long years of awaiting. Seasoned with the compilation released three years ago: Aeonthology, they’re picking it up where they left off with Aether. Seven pretty long and ongoing tracks, where over a cloth made of more or less edgy guitars and powerful basses Nino Sable’s voice develops the melodies. An efficient drum machine keeps the tone on its place. So far, I haven’t said anything that doesn’t also apply to any of their other albums. The stylistic differences aren’t too big, there are no radical evolutions and there’s no need for them. Esthetically the digipack is a bit different in style from the other records (even though it stays white), with a kind of abstract image on the middle. In this case, the picture on the cover is a shot of the circular dunes found in Mars by the NASA on the MRO mission. The lyrics are printed in the digipack itself, so the absence of the booklet isn’t as noticeable. Let’s talk about the tracks.


Birth of the Godforsaken and Twin Flames in Spring are those kind of songs that cannot leave you indifferent. Deep, dark, inspired. Two of those pieces that you can usually see in the Essen’s discography that take the margins of what gothic rock is supposed to be a lot further. These margins are in this case wisely transcended, not because of the unexplored of the journey but because of the properly done. Dark rock if you will. Really well done. It’s to be welcomed the breadth of the vision that inhibits the stalemate of style, pretty common in this genre. Burning in Black is clearly the first hit of the album. Eight minutes and a half of dark intensity despite of the guitar’s luminosity. Burning in Black and From Witchcraft to Deviltry (the next one) are probably the most danceable songs in Aenigma. They’re the kind you are more excited to listen to live. If as I said before the previous ones widen margins these ones definitely dissolve them, making this album, in my opinion, indispensable in every collection.


For the End and Beyond is one of those mid-tempo tracks, their trademark. It lyrically keeps on mixing deities from different mythologies (Celtic, Persian…) enriching the listening “experience” and giving motives to deep in those questions, frankly unknown for me. Loaded Dice on Lovers Lane is the song that least stands out to me in this album. Not because it’s a failed track, which is not, but because I might need a little more appeal, something that takes me in in a little more persuasive way with its sound, maybe something more conventional. I may need to listen to it a few more times until it finally comes, time will tell. All and all, as I said it’s not a bad song it’s just a noticeable song in an outstanding album. After that little kind of atmospheric interlude that puts together all songs (it’s curious how it makes it all look like one piece with different approaches despite how different each song is), Loqui ad Anguis begins. Double piece where all the usual mysticism in the lyrics gets to an even sharper dimension. Also ongoing in a song that drags you and that is dragged to a dimension that isn’t less attractive because it’s well-known. Rhythmical drum rolls and mantras, as recognizable in this ban as profoundly pretty. Kind of double as in the last three minutes or so of the 13 minutes that it is long, there’s kind of a “hidden” song, with Nino’s voice singing over a piano base. Melancholy and a kind of sad tone to end with an album that might not have explored those feelings yet. Perfect finale.


Din-Tah and Nino Sable (accompanied as always by Jo and Quoth) get, by composing good songs, that obvious no-evolution commented before to a second (or third, or fourth) level, backgrounding it. It’s very enjoyable if you are one of those that, as me, you don’t need every album to be an exercise of novelty style, a new twist as innovating as empty. Sometimes, as in this case, it’s “enough” with the songs forming it being tremendously good. Sometimes, the enigmatic makes sense. In seven pieces or in one broken in seven.