DYNATRON - Aeternus
After multiple listens of DYNATRON's latest album, Aeternus, the first word that pops in my mind to describe the album is not one which describes atmosphere or tone. Instead, it is the word meticulous. More than anything, Aeternus is a meticulous album. The attention to detail that Jeppe Hasseriis displays is impressive, and is (even beyond the crisp production) the primary reason that this album works so well.
Throttle Up, DYNATRON's previous EP, was a very solid release, and the first album I ever reviewed for NRW. Aeternus improves on something good that was established and pushes it into new and more mature territory. This album feels more confident, and deservedly so. Just about every track on it delivers.
It's not every day that you get a reference to Dan Simmons' fantastic Hyperion Cantos, a series of novels that blend science fiction settings with an foreboding (and even religious) atmosphere. Opening soundscape "Hyperion Sunrise" manages to channel a lot of that same mood. It establishes that this album will not be triumphant and whimsical. There is a darkness that unites the tracks. The next two songs, "Aeternus Theme" and "The Outer Rims of Traversed Space", are two of the album highlights. Experiencing the songs back-to-back pushes the album so far into solid territory only three songs in. The three tracks that follow are not bad, but do feel somewhat overshadowed by the first three. When we reach "Descend" we are given another exceptional track. This song is a good representation of what I meant by calling the album "meticulous". As you listen, try to imagine a whole spectrum of potential sounds. From the pulsing bass to the chirping leads, "Descend" reaches everything. There is no empty space, but there is also no clogged space. Both of which can easily ruin a song. "Not Of This World" recalls Hasseriis's experience with metal music, and metal guitar playing in particular. The chugs present in the track are downright menacing.
The remainder of the album is a solid conclusion, with closer "A Beacon From Home" being a definite highlight. The main synth melody in the middle of the song recalls The X-Files at it's most optimistic. It's an ominous track on a deeply ominous album, but unlike many of the tracks before it "A Beacon From Home" provides something more hopeful. Without it the album would suffer from being overbearing, but it musically ties up any loose ends.
If you enjoyed Throttle Up, you will enjoy this. If you are new to DYNATRON but have even a passing interest in synthwave, you will enjoy this.