ÆNON– The Comforter EP
Released: July 10th, 2020
ÆNON Line up:
Andrew Wakem | Vocals
Brendan Mari | Guitar
Luke Denniss | Guitar
Tristan Fairall | Bass
Thom Werlemann| Drums
We made it to the halfway point of the year that shall not be named, and man are we hoping things get a little better from here on in. One thing that hasn’t wavered through this testing time is great Aussie bands releasing great music, and ÆNON‘s EP The Comforter is no exception.
The first song off the rank is ‘Pensive’ which is ambient initially but bursts into brutal growls from vocalist Andrew Wakem very quickly. This short minute and a half intro song gives a perfect understanding of exactly what the band are about- guttural screams, very technical guitars and bass and nice instrumental melodies sprinkled in.
Next up is the single ‘Korczak’ which Wall of Sound was lucky enough to premiere the video for and chat to the band about (read here). The song has an Eastern European feel which fits the subject very well; the song focuses on Janus Korczak who ran an orphanage in Poland during World war two. When the Nazis invaded Warsaw and built the Jewish Ghetto, Korczak did not abandon the children and ultimately went with them into the gas chambers of Treblinka. Written from the perspective of one of Korczak’s orphans, the lyrics are goosebump-inducing. I could honestly copy the entire song as it is all incredible but this is a standout example- “Never once abandoned / You walked with me / My brothers / My sisters / Beyond death’s door / Into the chamber / You were the first / You had every chance to leave yet you remained.” The song is haunting in parts with a female voice singing “When they came bearing fear / You told us stories of joy / You chose death with the orphan over your freedom / When everything went quiet and cold your embrace was all that I knew.” I am super interested in WWII history, so this will be a story I look into more.
Not to be outdone by the lyrics and story, the song itself is a winding journey of many sections with Brendan Navy and Luke Denniss weaving technical guitars throughout, Tristan Fairall bringing fantastic basslines and Thom Werlemann’s relentless drumming. This song does haunting, brutal, winding and technical so well!
The other single, ‘Despite All This’ has yet another epic theme, telling about the mass murder of Christians in the third world. The band say they want this song to be an anthem of hope in dire situations no matter listeners’ political or religious standpoints. It is inspiring and keeps with the trend of crazy instrumentation. There is also a great bridge and a powerful “ooh” from Wakem– gotta love a good “ooh”.
The final two songs on the EP are my personal favourites. ‘In All Honesty’ gets into the heaviness straight away. It also has a few awesome instrumental moments like a bass lead bridge and a gorgeous guitar and drum break halfway through. The bass in this song stands out; it is front and centre and so good and technical. ‘The Comforter’ finishes the EP and is different in sound. It is slower and starts with a long intro of warm guitars and great drumming. The guitars have a bit of an older feel in this song, and there is an incredible guitar solo. It’s no secret I am a fan of some sexy saxophone so you know I love the sax that comes in halfway through. This song builds and feels inspiring and hopeful, which was a goal of the band with this EP. An incredible finish to the EP.
ÆNON do what they do well, and this EP has elements that make it feel like a mix of the technicality and brutality of bands like Dance Gavin Dance and August Burns Red. The themes of their songs are incredible, and the lyrics portray these themes well. This EP will take you on a journey, teach you something and provide some hope that the world could be a better place.
AENON – The Comforter tracklisting:
3. Despite All This
4. In All Honesty
5. The Comforter
Rating: 8 out of 10 epic themes