The music of Aodon’s 11069 is often as mysterious as the seemingly random arrangement of numbers in its title. The French black metal outfit become difficult to define on the first few ventures through their sophomore effort. Dark tonalities abound, but against strangely grandiose backdrops. Compositions sometimes feature understated crescendos juxtaposed against more ferocious builds. The songs alternate between being familiarly understandable and subtly abstract. Who could make sense of such disguised madness?
However, 11069 is more satisfying than it has any right to be. ‘L’oeuvre’ allows the listener to sink into a familiar stream of caustic tremolo notes and double bass before swiftly ripping them from comfort with a brief, chaotic changeup; and then they do it again. The song keeps up a pedal-point balance between recognizable passages and surprising shifts before settling into an open-ended ambient outro. Strange as this sounds, it works.
If anything the songs get a little more understandable as the album rolls on. The reverberating haze remains, but motifs are less ambiguous. Closer ‘Le Parfum Des Pluies’ is perhaps a little too “normal” at first, flipping from chilled out rock beats and melodic phrasing to the expected metallic riffs, but then, Aodon dance effortlessly from dismally dark melodies into peaceful ambience. Does it all make sense? As much as it doesn’t, perhaps. And whether it does or not seems to matter less and less the more one stops caring so much about the order in music.
11069 is out now via Willowtip Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Brett Tharp