Top 10 Aeon Zen Songs

Aeon Zen Songs

Our top 10 Aeon Zen songs list looks at the music catalog of a band that has proved to be an influential figure in the progressive metal scene since its formation in 2008. The band’s formation was spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist Richard Gray (alias Rich Gray). Joining Rich at the inauguration of Aeon Zen was Lloyd Musto. Lloyd contributed his drumming and vocal skills during his short-lived tenure with the band.

About fifteen years since its formation, Aeon Zen is still pushing the limits of progressive metal. Thanks to the constant membership of its founder Rich Gray, the band has kept on with its musical pursuits. Despite the band’s endearing musicianship, Aeon Zen is far from mirroring the success of the progenitors of progressive metal such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Queensrÿche. Of course, the late entry of Aeon Zen into the progressive metal scene and the constant evolution of music genres/styles have limited the band’s prospects of achieving massive success.

Nevertheless, the band doesn’t seem to worry about mainstream success (and limelight clout). For over a decade now, the band has been serving its fans with a fresh taste of progressive metal influences. Aeon Zen’s fusion of broadminded songwriting and remarkable musical technicality remains the cornerstone of the band’s endured musicianship in the progressive metal scene. The band currently has six full-length studio albums to its name.

Almost a year after its inauguration, Aeon Zen delivered its debut record A Mind’s Portrait. The album was issued through Rich Gray’s label Time Divide Records. Gray also went ahead to handle this album’s production works. The band contracted Mattias Norén to design this album’s artwork. Mattias Norén has also worked with a number of rock bands including Into Eternity, Outworld, and Evergrey.

Other musicians who contributed to the success of A Mind’s Portrait include guitarist Matt Shepherd, Andreas Novak, and Andri Kravljaca. Andri Kravljaca would soon join Aeon Zen as a full-time member becoming the band’s vocalist. “Time Divine,” “The Demise of the Fifth Sun,” “Existence,” and “Into the Infinite” are the best Aeon Zen songs from the LP A Mind’s Portrait.

The Face of the Unknown was issued as the band’s sophomore studio album in 2010. Once again Rich Gray handled the album’s production works. The Face of the Unknown saw the band persist in its pursuits in the progressive metal scene. Other musicians who contributed to the success of this LP include guitarist Matt Shepherd and vocalists Nick D’Virgilio, Jem Godfrey, Michael Eriksen, and Andi Kravljaca. “Natural Selection,” “Redemption’s Shadow,” and “Visions” are the most popular songs by Aeon Zen from The Face of the Unknown.

In 2013, Aeon Zen issued their third studio album Enigma. The album drew more progressive metal fans to Aeon Zen thanks to hits such as “Divinity,” “Warning,” “Downfall,” and “Turned to Ash” which are the best Aeon Zen songs from the album. Aeon Zen would later issue their fourth studio album Ephemera in 2014. The album was issued through the label Nightmare Records. Nightmare Records is a progressive rock/hard rock/power metal-oriented record label founded by heavy metal singer Lance King.

The label Nightmare Records has issued music for multiple artists including Evelyn Thomas, Earlene Bentley, Archie Bell & The Drells, and Mary Wells. Notable artists who contributed to the success of the album Ephemera include guitarist Alistair Bell, keyboardist Tom Green, and drummer Steve Burton. “The Entity,” “Unite,” and “Soul Machine” are some of the most remarkable songs from Aeon Zen’s album Ephemera.

Five years later, Aeon Zen returned with their fifth studio album Inveritas. The title of this album is a Latin word that translates to “untruth.” Inveritas is home to some of the best songs by Aeon Zen including “Rebel Theory” and “The First and Only Line.” Transversal, which was issued in 2021, marked the band’s sixth and most recent studio album. The album was issued through Layered Reality Productions. “Twilight,” “10,000 Eyes,” and “Chase the Sun” are the most sought-after songs by Aeon Zen from the album.

Aeon Zen’s Legacy

Despite the lack of mainstream and commercial success, Aeon Zen remains an archetypical progressive metal band of the twenty-first century. While the band is far from achieving the feats reached by Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Queensrÿche, its music offers a futuristic variety of progressive metal sound influences. Aeon Zen’s melodic approach to progressive metal and highly energized live shows have seen the band gain a cult following.

The band’s founder Rich Gray has seen his skills earn him membership in the Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator. Rich is currently Annihilator’s bassist having served in the band since 2015. Here we present our ten best Aeon Zen songs that you might wish to add to your playlist.

#10 – The Demise of the Fifth Sun

Inviting us to the musicianship of the Aeon Zen is the striking hit “The Demise of the Fifth Sun.” The hit is the last song on the track listing of the band’s impressive debut studio album A Mind’s Portrait. Spanning over twelve minutes, “The Demise of the Fifth Sun” is the longest song on the album (one of the longest songs by Aeon Zen).

This song’s massive length allows the band to deliver an immersive and dynamic approach to progressive metal. The result is the band’s blend of intricate metal-oriented instrumentation and melodic passages which summarizes Aeon Zen’s approach to progressive metal. You ought to love the intricate yet beautifully orchestrated drum patterns delivered by Lloyd Musto in this song!

#9 – Downfall

When counting fan favorites picks from the band’s music catalog, the song “Downfall” proved to be a vital track to the endured musicianship of the band. The song was issued as part of the band’s third studio album Enigma. “Downfall” is a masterpiece that features the band’s signature blend of catchy melodies and flaming guitar riffs.

Coincidentally, the hit “Downfall” is also the longest track on the band’s studio album Enigma. Wondering what’s with Aeon Zen’s longest tracks being masterpieces? Well, it’s pretty simple! Lengthy tracks like “Downfall” gives the band a chance to showcase its technical prowess. The variety of time signatures in this masterpiece finds the band transitioning between progressive metal-oriented tunes to melodic (yet heavy) sound influences seamlessly.

#8 – Twilight

Ranking eighth on our top 10 Aeon Zen songs list is the impressive track “Twilight.” The song is among the most recent releases by the band featuring on the 2021 album Transversal. “Twilight” finds the band giving us a taste of its melodic hooks. The song also features introspective lyrical content—as the music video begins, the band delivers a thought-provoking statement that reminds us that “with every new journey that begins, another one will end.”

The statement serves as a perfect prologue to this song’s lyrics which are centered around the theme of existentialism. This stunning musical piece features impressive vocal harmonies that add allure to the song’s overall feel. “Twilight” helps validate Rich Gray’s words about Transversal being the band’s most ambitious record!

#7 – Divinity

Let’s get back to Aeon Zen’s third studio album Enigma. Here we find the hit “Divinity,” one of the most sought-after tracks by the band. A driving rhythm section in this song remains an essential pillar to its exquisiteness. Contributing to the song’s rhythm section were drummer Steve Burton and Rich Gray who plays the bass in this song.

Gray’s punchy (and impressive) basslines in this song form the reason why Annihilator trusted him as a great addition to the band’s lineup. A music video directed by Rich Gray also helped push the limits of this song’s popularity. Guest vocalists in this song include singers Jonny Tatum of the Norwegian progressive metal band Eumeria and Atle Pettersen of Above Symmetry.

#6 – Redemption’s Shadow

Ranking sixth on our top 10 Aeon Zen songs list is the hard-hitting track “Redemption’s Shadow.” The song is among the standout tracks featured on the band’s 2010 studio album The Face of the Unknown. “Redemption’s Shadow” sets a melancholic atmosphere in the band’s sophomore album owing to its lyrical context and fierce guitar riffs.

Featured in the vocals in this track was Jonny Tatum. Tatum is best known as the co-founder of the progressive metal band Eumeria. The song’s accompanying music video features footage of the band’s 2011 European Tour.

#5 – The First and Only Line

By the time Aeon Zen was releasing their fifth studio album Inveritas, Rich Gray had spent several years as the bassist of the band Annihilator. Rich had also featured on Annihilator’s album Triple Threat where he played the bass in all of the album’s ten tracks. His impressive performance on Triple Threat is replicated in the record Inveritas as showcased in Aeon Zen’s hit “The First and Only Line.” Gray’s slamming hot bass lines blend in perfectly with the magical drum strums delivered by Steve Burton resulting in a driving rhythm section.

#4 – Unite

“Unite” is by far one of the band’s most sought-after tracks from the band’s fourth studio album Ephemera. The song showcases the band’s continued excellence in progressive metal while still blending heavy metal elements into its music. As the title suggests, “Unite” finds the band conveying a message of unity to its listeners.

The unity in this song is fueled by the band’s protest against machines and the fight for humanity. “Unite” features an aesthetic music video that was animated, directed, and edited by the band’s founder Rich Gray.

#3 – Time Divine

Ranking third on our top 10 Aeon Zen songs list is the haunting hit “Time Divine.” The song is among the earliest tracks released by the band featuring on the 2009 album A Mind’s Portrait. “Time Divine” features impressive vocals that seamlessly complement the song’s instrumentation.

The vocal delivery in this song also oozes emotion and power elements which makes “Time Divine” a timeless pick! There are several versions of this song including the acoustic version which primarily showcases Rich Gray’s excellence in the vocals and instrumentation. The acoustic version of the song “Time Divine” is a completely reworked piece of art that features soaring alto saxophone solos that help crown it a masterpiece.

#2 – Natural Selection

“Natural Selection” takes us back once again to the band’s sophomore studio album The Face of the Unknown. The song is the perfect representation of the band’s love for a melody-oriented progressive metal approach. “Natural Selection” features British musician/record producer Jem Godfrey on the guest vocals.

Jem Godfrey is best known not for his vocals but for his production and songwriting works. The songwriter/record producer has also worked with a number of artists including Shayne Ward, the boy band Blue, Atomic Kitten, and Ronan Keating. However, the song ranks high on our list thanks to the impressive and dynamic instrumentation by Rich Gray.

#1 – The Entity

Rising atop our top 10 Aeon Zen songs list is the exquisite hit “The Entity.” The song is featured on the band’s fourth studio album Ephemera. Our subjective move to crown “The Entity” as the best Aeon Zen song was motivated by the song’s archetypical progressive metal sound influences.

“The Entity” features a blend of intense vocal delivery and anthemic instrumentation. The lead guitars in this song are enough to give metalheads musical frissons. “The Entity” showcases the vocal dexterity of Andi Kravljaca who has been a long-time serving member of the band. This song also features an impressive music video showcasing the band members doing what they do best in their respective roles!

Feature Photo: Richard Hinks (https://www.flickr.com/photos/74944359@N06/), CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 Aeon Zen Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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