Tommy Dahlström: Vocals
Zeb Nilsson: Guitar
Daniel Dlimi: Guitar
Tony Östman: Bass
Janne Jaloma: Drums (Session)
With 2012's Aeons Black standing as one of the defining death metal albums of the twenty-first century it has been a long wait for the follow up. In 2021, Sweden's Aeon finally return with its successor, God Ends Here, and in doing so only up the ante with a record that is bigger, harder and stronger in every way. "I wasn't feeling any pressure after such a gap, we don't do shit half assed and I feel like this is our strongest album yet," states guitarist Zeb Nilsson. A darker, even more epic collection, it is everything an Aeon fan could want with a few surprises in store, pushing the genre in new directions and once again asserting that they are one of the most important bands in extreme metal.
The main reason for the gap between records lies in finding the right drummer, having had a few pass through their ranks in the interim, Dark Funeral/Imperium drummer Janne Jaloma now manning the kit. "Janne is as many people already know a machine. He watched us open for Cannibal Corpse in Gothenburg in 2006 and seeing Nils (Fjellström) playing the drums with us was what got him to start playing. His style is basically based on the Aeon drum style, so a perfect fit for us." Making his recording debut with the band is also bassist Tony Östman, who joined in 2013, during the touring cycle for Aeons Black. "What is cool about Tony is that he really works as a bass player. He doesn't just copy the guitars, he really put a lot of thought and new ideas into the bass lines. An amazing musician and lyric writer, he wrote three songs and two of them made it onto this album. He also wrote lyrics and vocal patterns for them." Guitarist Daniel Dlimi, who departed the Aeon fold in 2013 also returned to the band's ranks in 2019, which inspired Nilsson to write, having really missed collaborating with him.
Penning the first new music for the record back in 2014 - coming up with the chords for the chorus of titanic closer "Queen Of Lies" at a venue in Munich, Germany, and having Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse, Brett Bamberger from Revocation and Östman try it with different pedals before the doors opened - Nilsson had a very clear idea of what he wanted to achieve with God Ends Here. While there are a lot of thrash influences on Aeons Black, the guitarist was intent on bringing something new to the table this time out. "I have absolutely no interest in just doing the exact same style over and over again. So I did some more 'epic' stuff with other influences, like Samael and Emperor and different classical pieces. As we worked on the album I came up with an idea to continue where we left off on Aeons Black. So the first thing on this album is an alternative version of how Aeons Black ended. If were to compare it to something it would be the scene with the Balrog in Lord Of The Rings, where in the sequel you continue where the audience were left hanging, but here you get an alternative version or POV of the same thing." Added to this, he wanted there to be different themes that pop up here and there across the album, emulating films in the way that such elements come and go with the storyline. "This album has got two main themes in many alternative versions both in riffs and orchestral samplers in different songs, as well as intro tracks. If you listen carefully you will notice them. There's a lot of thought put into this album in that way, and this is a way for us to push death metal further as a genre, but of course we are still Aeon. We will always sound like Aeon, we just go a bit further this time."
When asking vocalist Tommy Dahlström where he's coming from lyrically he responds plainly. "When I write it's all about hate and anger. It fits our music perfectly. Most of the lyrics on this album are very personal, so I won't go into detail as to what they are about and what they mean to me, but hopefully they are written in a way so that the listener can find their own meaning with them. I think that's the beauty with lyrics, that they can mean something for me and something totally different for you." With the record finally written the band tracked it in multiple studios. Drums were recorded in Jaloma's own Studio Starköl, guitars and bass in the band's own Rise to Dominate Studio and the vocals were recorded at Metallfabriken Studio, where some guitar re-amping was also done. Producer Ronnie Björnström, who presided over Aeons Black, once again oversaw proceedings, making sure everything sounded as big as possible. Expanding the sonic palette are strings and choirs, the orchestral elements primarily programmed by Nilsson with Dlimi handling those on "Mephistopheles", while Nilsson wrote the choir parts. "They're programmed sampler choirs that are dubbed with me and my youngest daughter singing. We recorded four to six different harmonies each and all of those in four different channels to get the big sound of a real choir." With dramatic artwork by Italian artist Paolo Girardi the final piece of the puzzle, the finished package extends Aeon's legacy and gives the genre the push that was intended from the outset. They may have been gone a long time but make no mistake: Aeon are back, and God Ends Here will lay waste to all.