Sound — 8
"Aeonglass" is a first studio album from a Croatian heavy metal band Time Decay. Deeply rooted in '80s classic heavy metal sound, band give a modern interpretation of that sound, mixing it with various influences that become apparent throughout the album. Strong presence of dual guitar harmonies that power the melodic lines of the songs, show Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest influences. Those influences can be heard also in the trading of lead guitar duties, where band shows importance in showcasing both guitarists' talents. Arrangements of songs are diverse, ranging from simple, all-out-rockers ("The Revenant," "Phantom (Invading Venice)"), to proggy, complex tunes with an epic feel to them ("Ocean Is Not Silent," "Never Ending Story"). Vocals are typical for this genre, featuring long-sustained high notes, "Halfordish" screams and operatic vocal lines. Bass guitar lines follows guitar riffs to some extent, but also sometimes strays away from a clear supporting role, giving songs more character and groove. It all meshes quite well into an album that will surely be a treat for not only for '80s fans, but for metal community as a whole.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrics cover all sorts of topics. From fantasy inspired epics, to issues in today's society. The band show their appreciation for literary works of H.P. Lovecraft, naming two of their songs based on the Lovecraft's books ("Ocean Is Not Silent," "Nameless City"). The album features songs both sung on their native language (Croatian) and English, latter being the more prominent. The objection would be that the band cover so many topics at once, it, at places, seemingly lacks focus. But given it is the first album in their discography, that flaw doesn't feel that important.
Overall Impression — 8
All in all, a very solid first album that will satisfy the needs for energetic vocals, pummeling riffs, speedy solos, driving bass lines and tight drumming. What I love about the album, is that the band takes all of their diverse influences and combine them in a sound that is both a tribute to their favorite artists and also a voice of their own. Thing that I would also mention is songwriting consistency, with very little filler material. Downsides would be the lack of focus in lyrics, also the album is self-made so the production isn't perfect, but given its do-it-yourself nature it actually sounds very well. If someone stole this album (or if I managed to lose it), I would buy it again because there aren't many bands that manage to merge classic metal influences with their own personalities and produce something fresh-sounding. This is an up-and-coming band, and with this album as a foundation I'm stoked to hear what they have to offer us next. Will be looking forward to it!