Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.
Aeronexus’ Aeon Intergrade represents a further evolution of the artist’s approach to creating richly layered, detail-rich synth-based music featuring memorable melodies and a unique synth palette. The music that Aeronexus produces paints luscious, ear-pleasing images of thrilling journeys through the vast reaches of outer space.
Aeronexus’ well-written, engaging melodies are a significant part of my enjoyment of Aeon Intergrade. He crafts strong, clear melodies that are expressive and emotionally rich on the album. The melodic language explores different moods and sensations from pained melancholy to soaring energy, but the melodies are never anything less than memorable and ear-pleasing.
The guest artists that are featured on Aeon Intergrade are another strong component of the album for me. Dimi Kaye brings his fiery guitar skills to bear on the album in a contribution that shows off his intricate playing and complements Aeronexus’ sound well. Draven’s classical music influence and love for all things shadowy and ominous adds an additional layer of depth to the track on which he collaborated.
I am also drawn to the way in which Aeronexus uses his synth palette on the album. He has chosen some intriguing synths along with his customary panpipes including some powerful choral-sounding synths and synths that create unique auditory textures which are hard to pin down. Over the years, he’s become skilled at building up layer on layer of fascinating sounds to produce a symphony of textures, timbres and tones.
My Favourite Tracks Analyzed
“Ancient Awakening” comes into being with gigantic, solid drums and a crunchy, rapid synth pulse that oscillates in waves. Panpipes carry a delicate, dancing melody that is supported by descending, thick bass. Dark synths with a vocal quality descend along with another sweeping, medium-low synth line. A series of energetic, shadowed arpeggios cascade over powerful drums and the medium-low, vocal sounding line keeps descending.
I'm drawn to the way in which the hollow, open panpipes carry the timeless melody in this track. The descending synth's resonant, thick weight is joined by a half-time drumbeat and the melody is carried on a nasal, shining synth at slower speed. The panpipe sound unfurls again, flying in a melody that has overtones of ancient, hidden worlds. The medium-low synth line carries the descending note patterns and the energizing arpeggios whirl and fade.
Fragile sparks of crystal light float on glittering synth waves as “Free Fall” begins. The varied, bouncing percussion throbs along with trembling, gentle synths as a distorted computerized voice warns of imminent destruction. Speeding, jumping arpeggios whirl with bright energy, while the lead melody feels majestic as it sings out on a medium-low synth with a bending distortion at the end of each line. In the midst of the majesty, there’s a touch of mournful feeling which adds a nice depth to the music.
The solid drums and propulsive bass throb keep up this track’s sense of motion. Drum flourishes flow out into the music, supporting the lead synth melody, before rapid arpeggios spin in again. The melody’s triumph and tragedy unfold before the track slows to drift and glide, the drums solid but imbued with an easy going feeling.
A whirling arpeggio storm spins and the drums pound with even more power. The synth solo is full of feelings of mingled hope and loss as it soars up in a mad rush. There’s a secondary melody that comes in, still mingling emotions as it dances out. The drums explode in bursts of energized sound while the lead synth flies free with wild abandon. The track ends on delicate, gentle notes.
"Disc Debris” opens as cosmic, subtly rough-edged synths flow in gently extending lines. A breathy, ethereal synth is shaped by slow arpeggios before hard-hitting, dynamic drums raise the tempo. The waves of string-like, undulating arpeggios support a metallic, medium-high synth carrying a dreaming melody touched by melancholy shadows.
The way in which the melody hurts and hopes is something I find touching. A full, rich-sounding synth doubles with a more metallic sounding as reverent choral “voices” carry a floating chant and bass depths undulate smoothly. Aeronexus’ synth solo has an astral, dancing quality to it as it wheels out, cascading and skipping over the drum and bass solidity. The angelic choir calls out in a worshipful tone as a trembling, medium-low synth carries gently hurting notes into silence.
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Distant piano carries intricate arpeggios as dark-edged synth drifts out and an apocalyptic choir chants in rising power to bring “Serenity” into being. A string section is broken by the bright, metallic sounds of a glockenspiel and the ancient choir. This track bears Draven’s classical music influences and shadowy sensibilities and is enhanced by them.
A heavy drum and bass pulse supports clouds of glowing synth light as a hollow, medium-low synth drifts in and the higher arpeggios shimmer out. A Theremin trembles and cries out, like an operatic voice, full of passion as the choir adds dramatic power above the jumping drums and and gritty bass growl. Glittering, whirling arpeggios shine and a steel pan synth carries an evolving melody that has a minor key twist to the positive energy that it exudes. The Theremin is full of passion and the choral chanting adds richness to the music.
Metallic chimes echo out into the flowing auditory environment as slow arpeggios unfold and the battering drums thunder. The Theremin soars out and the chanting matches the driving, gigantic drums to further add to the feeling of tremendous depth. The medium-high, smooth synth bounces in waves and the drums and bass launch before the track ends on delicate, intricate piano arpeggios.
“Hollow Purity” begins as gleaming metallic chimes carry a dense, ringing note pattern that is joined by rising synth. Powerful choral voices are backed by gigantic drums and the jumping, driving beat throbs behind the rising chimes. A medium-high, nasal-sounding synth sings a majestic melody tinged by a sense of loss.
I find that mixture of triumph with a tragic ache to be especially effective. Massive drums batter and clanging metallic chimes ring out in a cascading pattern as warm, hollow synth plays dancing notes. A medium-high, nasal synth carries a solo that leaps out in a madly flying line over the steady drive and pulse below it.
The solo reaches out in a more hopeful voice and the surging bass and drums match its chiming energy. A smoother, more gliding section comes in as warm notes circle and the beat ticks along before a return to the metallic chimes.The track glides into a gentler segment before the angular, jumping bass and drums inject more motion again. A tense, minor key synth line wriggles out in a wild, melodic pattern as it climbs and soars, glowing out over the continual drive below it.
Dense, open-voiced arpeggios spin in slow circles as panpipes carry a gossamer melody to open “Aeon Intergrade.” A hollow, bouncing synth sings out a melody that paints a gorgeous image of a spacecraft soaring through vast cosmic spaces.
Frantic, tightly packed arpeggios whirl below the cosmic melody as it creates a feeling of intense speed. The drums are huge and propulsive underneath the yearning, flying melody. Panpipe-like synth carries a tragic, ancient sounding melody that speaks of hidden worlds and distant stars.
Round, full-sounding arpeggios leap and Dimi Kaye’s guitar unfurls in an intricate, roaming solo that explodes into the music with dynamic power. The guitar solo adds to the palpable feelings of soaring, star-blurring speed. The track comes to an end with the ancient, aching panpipe melody.
“Oblivion” is a delicate and mournful end to the album. Fragile, lightly-caressing sounds move through a breathy, flowing background. The piano that comes in is deep with emotion. I am moved by the drifting melody that caresses with a feather-light touch.
Brassy synth adds glowing accents and the tremulous vocal synth line brushes the track with airy gentleness. The piano combines sadness with a soothing touch as the trembling notes fade into silence.
Aeon Intergrade represents the most well-produced, lushest and most adventurous of Aeronexus' albums yet. As his sound evolves, I’m intrigued to hear where he might go next with it. I hope that the adventure will continue to unfold.
© 2022 Karl Magi