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Aeon

Brutal US-style death metal from Sweden. That's right, it exists. There are actually a couple of bands from this Scandinavian country playing thisn style and Aeon is one of the more important bands in this genre. Their new, fourth album 'Aeons Black' has just been released through Metal Blade, which raised some questions from our side that were answered by guitarist Zeb Nilsson.

By: Pim B. | Archive under death metal / grindcore

Congrats with the new album 'Aeons Black'. It's killer and what I've seen so far I'm not the only one with this opinion. Compared to the previous album 'Path Of Fire' the album is a bit more varied. Could you tell our readers what the main differences between these albums are?
'Path Of Fire' is fast pretty much all the way, whilst 'Aeons Black' is much varied that's the biggest difference I guess. And I feel that the new album have much better songs. They have more groove which I think is much more important than speed. It´s kind of hard to put the finger exactly on what it is but with this album it just feels so good everything about it. I have never been this satisfied with any release ever before. I definitely believe that this record is easier to catch and get hooked on to both old Aeon die hards as well as other people that haven't been into us before.

Where you had 'Path Of Fire' mixed by Erik Rutan and mastered by Alan Douches you worked with Ronnie Björnström this time around. Can you tell us some more on deciding to work with Ronnie? He seems to be a rising star in Sweden when it comes to mixing/producing.
We knew about Ronnie since eight-nine years back, but for some reason we never really thought of him until our first gig with Arttu back in the band. It was at a festival in Umeå which is Ronnie's hometown and we asked him if he wanted to be our FoH tech there and he was really glad that we asked. And after the gig everyone told us that we had the best sound at the entire festival, yet there where some pretty big names there like U.D.O., Trypticon and Dark Tranquillity. So I guess that the seed started to grow back then, and the whole show was recorded through the mix console and Ronnie made this incredible mix of the show that really blew our minds. After that there was like no doubt that this was our guy to produce our next album. You can check out one song from that gig with Ronnies mix here. We always uses Ronnie to mix us live now as much as the budget can afford it. But sometimes the budgets are so tight that we can't bring him. It´s always so good having him, cause he is a really good friend with the band and we always have good sound on stage so we can perform good and it gives us confident too if we know that the sound is really killer in the PA. I certainly hope he will get more bigger artists to record with him after this.

I know Ronnie is really good at re-amping guitars and I saw that Erik Rutan did that on 'Path Of Fire' as well. So, did Ronnie use this trick on 'Aeons Black' and can you explain what re-amping is as I don't think everyone knows?
Nowadays when bands are recording guitars and bassguitars we always split the signal from the guitar. One signal goes into whatever equipment that you´re using (pedals, amps etc). You mic up the cabinet and record it the way people have always done. Now the other signal that we got from splitting the signal from the guitar gets recorded just pure the way it is. No pedals, no effects or amps. Then you have both the guitars from the amp that you used, and the clean signal which is kind of a “back up guitar” to use if you are not 100% satisfied with the guitar tone that you got from the guitar rig that you used recording with. When we recorded 'Path Of Fire' we used a Engl Powerball here in Sweden, but later Erik found a better guitar tone in his studio in Florida blending two different amps. (I remember one of them being a Marshall, but I don´t remember the other amp). So he just took that clean guitars recorded and played them through his amps, miced up his cabinet and recorded them that way. I´m not sure if you all get it but that´s my best shot of explaining it. It´s pretty much standard to record four rhythm guitars too. Two to the left and two to the right. So when you´re blending two different amps you´re using two amps to the left and two to the right.

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When we had to prove to Metal Blade that Ronnie was good enough we made a pre-prod. For that we recorded all guitars at Daniels place and Ronnie reamped with his Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier. But for the actual album and the product that you all can listen to we never had to reamp cause we got the best guitar tone we´ve ever had already in the studio whilst recording. Still we did record a clean signal so that we could have reamped if would´ve wanted to. And the amps that we used are Peavey 6505 and a Tapp Marzian. And we used a Maxon OD808 for boosting up the signal a little, cause that tighten things up and makes the guitar signal going into the amp hotter.

There are fifteen songs on the album, which is quite a lot compared to most other death metal albums. Is this all you wrote or is it a selection you made? Are the songs linked to each other through the lyrics or so? Tell us some more about the album as a whole.
We did have some more ideas that we worked on, but we never finish a song unless it feel good enough so we never have any songs that becomes “left overs”. If we would have had more time we would have had even more songs, but we had a deadline so we had to say that “ok this is it”. Because even if we have more time to write more music, we also have to have lyrics for them. So don´t start off on something that you can´t finish in time for the deadline. We actually get the question a lot if the album is a concept album lyric wise, so I don´t know if that is because of the lyrics, or if it just feels that way thanks to how the songs are connected with interludes and stuff. But you would have to ask Tommy that to get the correct answer, because I actually don´t know for sure. I don´t believe it is a concept through the whole album.

I think you once again had a change in the line-up before your recorded the new album. This time original drummer Arttu returned to the band. Did this have any impact on the new material or do you see it as 'just' a line-up change? You've had some changes in the past as well so I'd like to know if these changes are always for the better or do you feel they can set the bands back a bit as well?
I think that having Arttu gave us a lot of inspiration to write new songs. We really wanted a new album out with him on the drums cause he plays so hard n´heavy. He is really beating the shit out of the drums and it actually sounds so cool to me. And that was really one huge reason to write more heavy songs cause it sounds so cool when Arttu is playing heavy. So far I think that it have always felt like any lineup changes that we have had have ended up to the better. Anything else would suck!

being from Sweden you can't be considered as a typical Swedish death metal band. Your influences are more from US bands. What bands do you actually see as your biggest influence? Do you feel any affiliation with other Swedish bands like Spawn Of Possession or Deranged, that stay away from the Swedish sound?
The bands that have always been our biggest influences are Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Deicide and Suffocation. So yeah! Not so many Swedish death metal bands there haha. But there are other influences than those bands. I´ve always had old Mesuggah as a strong influence. And yeah, bands like the ones you mentioned feels like brothers in arms to me.

One thing that lift a band to a higher plan is touring and you've done your fair share in the past already. Any plans for tours you can already mention. I think so far there's only a UK/Ireland tour booked, right?
Yeah I agree, it´s a fact that you need to tour to sell records. We do have some more in the planning, but nothing more is official just yet so I´m sorry but I can´t say anything more.

Okay, I think that's all from my side. Anything you still want to get across to the readers? Be my guest!
Thank you for making this interview, and thank you that reads this bullshit all the way down here haha,
If you have read this far,m ake sure to take a listen to this album cause it is something else.
Cheers!

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