Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, April 6, 2020

Aether Realm - Redneck Vikings From Hell

It's been a pleasure watching Aether Realm evolve over the last few years. Not that long ago they were just another local band, an Alestorm-wannabe even. Now they've leveraged their immense talent into being one of America's premier melodic death metal acts. They bring a VERY Napalm Records influenced sound to the fore that has been refined by several European festival seasons. What you wind up with is one of the most European-sounding bands in America today. Their latest offering - Redneck Vikings From Hell is far too fun - an exciting step forward for the band.

The overall compositional excellence of this record is really something to be reckoned with. The bands attack on songs like 'Hunger' is really exciting. Beyond that though they do an excellent job of crafting massive singalong choruses and fusing disparate sounds. While there are certainly party tracks like 'Goodbye' the band has also managed to capture some of their most introspective moments to date. The obvious standout in this regard is of course 'Cycle' which starts with a monologue questioning the speakers satisfaction with their lives. It makes for some compelling listening and has me eagerly coming back for more.

In brief - this is the first record where it feels like Aether Realm have really overcome their humble beginnings to become one of the premier bands of their generation. This is music that is fun and over the top. It's extremely silly but also self aware of that fact. The band are clearly incredibly talented and gave us a record resplendent with flashy solos. It's hard not to be enamored with Redneck Vikings From Hell - sure it sticks to tropes, but those tropes are fun and we all need a little more joy right now.

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