Sound: This is another one of those bands you never hear about. And there's a good reason: Black Sun Aeon is a one-man band headed by Tuomas Saukkonen, the frontman of Before The Dawn, a band that is somewhat popular in Finland (one of their albums reached the Finnish Top 20 Pop Charts), but never expanded their music venue anywhere else, not even in the greater Scandinavian Region.
So yeah, metal from Finland. Knowing how popular and likeable most Finnish metal albums are, Darkness Walks Besides Me should be, at the very least, a decent album, right?
First, let's reiterate the fact that Black Sun Aeon is made up of just one guy. One guy doing everything: vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. And he actually does a pretty good job at it, too. Saukkonen creates an overall heavy sound that successfully combines the Finnish Gothic sound akin to bands such as HIM and Children Of Bodom with some early Black Sabbath. But it doesn't go without saying that there aren't a few sparks of originality every now and then. And while these sparks aren't exactly mindblowing, they are interesting to listen to and remarkable that, once again, they were made by only one man. // 7
Lyrics: If you've familiarized yourself with HIM and Nightwish, then you already know the lyrical content of this album. It's dark and filled with self-loathing, pain, gothic imagery, yada yada yada.
The vocals of Tuomas Saukkonen are nowhere near great, but nowhere near bad either. Most of the songs, he's screaming with a sort of death metal growl similar to...well, any death metal band that's been around for the past twenty or so years. Sometimes, guest vocalists will step in to help add some diversity to the album, such as in "A Song For This Winter" and "A Song For My Funeral" (which are probably the best two songs on this album). Once again, nothing special, but it does succeed in adding diversity into the album. // 6
Overall Impression: You can't really go wrong with this album. Any fan of Gothic Scandinavian metal will dig this album. While it does fall flat a few times and doesn't add anything new and revolutionary to the Finnish metal formula, it does follow through and remain faithful to a tried-and-true formula. // 7