Aeoga - _Zenith Beyond the Helix-Locus_
(Aural Hypnox, 2005)
by: T. DePalma (8.5 out of 10)
One photograph depicts two men anchored to the floor, side by side, with legs crossed. They are cowled and engaged: although light obscures the surroundings, a guitar and various microphones are visible; dozens of wires snake throughout the frame, vanish and reappear connected to home-effects boards featured as alien technology.

In another, three individuals perform with exotic instruments inside a candlelit room wearing ceremonial robes (red and black) while situated in a triangle. On the wall hang two arterial zen paintings.

Aeoga are as particular about image as they are sound. However, persona is not much of a priority. The group does not publish the names of those involved or bother much with production credits, although their make and origin is not exactly a secret.

A small familiarity with the roster of Aural Hypnox, a Finnish label rising to the forefront of the dark ambient genre, reveals some moving back and forth between the members of groups Aeoga, Halo Manash and I. Corax, but I won't spoil the details for you. The point is that Aeoga outwardly portray themselves as a symbol; a mystical appendage revealed through a yantric complexity of layers. On the group's second album, _ Zenith Beyond the Helix-Locus_, an ever-morphing relation between the principal tonalities of monastic chants, bells, guitar dives and alarm sirens are compiled with each floating dimly into the next, met by tense audio triggers: fire, shutters rattling, maybe some animal torture.

The numbing merger of some fifteen droning and indefinite tracks may seem a bit much for one sitting, but the album is meant (constructed) not only to be realized in total, but to be re-played. All but a few tracks continue exactly where the last has waned; producing what seems like a timeless progression of sounds and consequences. Aeoga maintains the necessary illusions by giving an inner conflict to music itself. When conventional rhythm enters in the form of a clear, durational drum beat, the noise scatters like a frightened mob of lower organisms. Order dissolves the field of sound, the clearing of a psychic storm.

Nearing its close, the disc levels out and gradually descends into silence like the motions of an airplane landing -- a grand exhalation, and probably not a round trip. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this as any kind of "aid" and do not suggest that the puzzles within amount to something conclusive (or are intended to), but once brought together it is a disturbing and equally well formatted projection of ineffable imagination.


(article published 18/5/2006)

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