Thursday, 17 May 2012

ÆGES - The Bridge

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: April 17th 2012
Label: The Mylene Sheath

'The Bridge' CD/DD/LP track listing:

1. Wrong 4:00
2. My Medicine 2:36
3. Southern Comfort 5:03
4. Doesn’t Feel The Same 2:48
5. Sent From Heaven (Rest In Dirt) 4:18
6. The Bridge 5:45
7. Roaches 3:07
8. The Words We Say 3:57
9. I Believe In Ghosts 2:17
10. Fade Out 5:18


ÆGES are a four piece band hailing from Los Angeles, California, USA and their sound is a blend of alternative metal, post-hardcore, with a side order of sludgy riffs.  The band defines their genre on their facebook page as ‘Nasty Riffs’.  The album was produced and engineered by Kemble Walters and mastered by Mark Chalecki (Omar Rodriguez – Lopez, Goatsnake, Megadeth).  The band count their influences as HUM, Failure, The Life and Times, Quicksand and Handsome.  The Bridge is their debut album for amazin Mylene Sheath Label.

The Band: 

Larry Herweg | Drums (Pelican, Tusk, San Angelus)
Mark Holcomb | Guitar (Shift, Undertow, San Angelus)
Kemble Walters | Vocals/Guitar (the Rise, Juliette and the Licks, Kemble Walters & the Blank Faces)
Tony Baumeister | Bass (16, Cutthroats 9)


Hailed in some quarters as a ‘Super Group’ of sorts, ÆGES are a breath of fresh in the genre of heavy music, in so much as they remain startlingly heavy whilst retaining a strong element of melody and a tantalising blend of screamed/clean vocals.  The most obvious comparison I could draw upon to describe their music would be Antenna era Cave In, indeed Kemble Walters’ vocals reminds me a lot of Stephen Brodsky from the aforementioned band.

So what is on offer with The Bridge and why should readers part with their hard earned cash?  Basically ÆGES have produced some of catchiest songs I have ever heard and incorporate the best of elements of metal, e.g. ‘Nasty Riffs’ alongside a staggering vocal performance courtesy of Kemble Walters.  The album is jam packed full of hooky, tantalising Helmet esque riffs, with a hint of that trademark Henry Bogdan bassline. 
The twin guitar delivery on opening track ‘Wrong’, is juxtaposed with intricacy and simplicity, with ample amounts of cool phrasing, supported admirably by a solid rhythm section.  The riffs are to die for and at the centre of it, is a breathtaking raw and pure vocal performance. If only medicine could taste as good as this record sounds and the track My Medicine chips in with some wonderously floaty guitars fills, bass heavy riffs, which are a hybrid of tonality somewhere between KoRn and Kyuss, with added desert rock spice.  Again the song is just plain catchy, leaving the listener captivated and mystified as a result of spontaneously bursting into song.  This is a big plus point for the album, in that you feel yourself being compelled to sing, seemingly unconsciously and spasmodically. 

The songs just get better and better, one memorable song after another, ‘Southern Comfort’ with its acoustic intro, then into another banger of a riff, the simplicity of which are another source of the albums strength. Bucket loads of thick dirgy riffs and incorporating layers of guitar fills to add variety and texture, keeping the listener engrossed as a result.

Doesn’t Feel The Same, turns on the 90’s alt metal style, with bursts of influence from Helmet or say Handsome, coupled with aggression, punchy drums and that Henry Bogdan bass tone.  The track is just mouth watering, with a raw groove aesthetic, which is beguiling and mesmeric.  Indeed it’s a track that could been written by Page Hamilton himself. The record is just loaded and brimming with riffs that leave you beaming from ear to ear. 

Sent From Heaven (Rest In Dirt) has a very sludgy vibe, with a post metal esque opening riff and the vocals on this track are majestic, with a nod to Cave In.  Adding further dynamics to the record with thrashy galloped riffs a times.  The fuzzy production creates a massive “wall of sound” which only serves to strengthen the tone of the the sludgy guitars and the drum work.

The Bridge is an assault on the senses, due to the battery of the drums and the layers of riffs that reminded me of the band Zozobra. The track is a big tune, with a strong traditional vibe to it with an amazing hooky chorus and slight variations on the same riffs, which are driving and crunchy.  Kemble Walters is on fire at this point and gives the track his strongest vocal performance, with an almost falsetto type vocal at times.  Roaches with its Big black esque intro is just plain aggressive and bombastic, incorporating the use of background vocals to accentuate the song.  It is the most straight forward track and most aggressive on offer.  Added to the track are hints of distorted bass and a strong bouncy groove. 

The final 3 tracks on the album continue the general tone of the album and each one could easily be big singles for the record and should rightly propel this album into becoming ‘The Feel Good Metal Album Of The Summer.’  What makes The Bridge so great and so different is that ÆGES have produced an album unlike anything else out there and as a result this should be applauded.  The Bridge is a truly brilliant record

Words by: Aaron Pickford

Check the link below for info on the band and The Mylene Sheath Label.


meng said...

WOW is this a great album...thanks for turning me on to it!

The Doomentor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Doomentor said...

Glad you like it. obviously doing something right? Lol.

It's a brilliant record. thanks for reading. more brilliant reviews to come.