Aionios II
(self-produced, 1997)

I want everyone who reads this review to send me $5. That is for the pain and suffering I had to go through to review this album. Mind you, most of you who try out new music only listen to a few songs before you decide to sell the CD back or pass it off to someone you really don't like. Not me. Because of my journalistic integrity, I listened to this CD five times. And each time my ears were assaulted by the noises coming from my speakers, I kept thinking to myself -- maybe it will get better. I realize that I am an angry, bitter, cynical person who tends to judge art of all forms at the first try, hurling insult after insult when it reaches a certain level of atrocity. This CD has far surpassed any image of evil I could ever dream up.

Let me give you the facts before I launch into the body of the review. This is the second CD (obvious by the title) performed by Aionios. Aionios is made up of a husband and wife team, George and Leonisa Marinakis. All of the "music" was performed and arranged by the couple, all of the producing was done by the couple, it was recorded in their own studio, and they even came up with the art design for the cover. The only other people to have anything to do with this CD were Media Magic Inc., who mastered the CD and did the actual art graphical work. The CD runs for a total of 67:02 minutes -- and has four songs on it. Yes, you read that right, four songs. All of the music was written by the the couple, except for the third song, "Nemea, 4069 B.C.," which is a traditional Greek song arranged by the couple.

It took me a while to come up with the best way to describe Aionios' sound -- until I went to a mall and saw some kids in a Radio Shack. They were toying with the various synthesizers and keyboards on display, and had decided to play the "Demo" track that usually comes on every instrument to give you an idea of what the particular keyboard can do. The aural cacophany coming from 10 keyboards all playing their cheesy demo tracks is the best way to describe the music that comes on this CD. I'm not going to insult the ability of the Marinakis' to play their keyboards -- I'm sure it really is them playing that music. Even the people who dream up the keyboard demos have more sense than to create the kind of hell that comes with the Aionios CD.

And I wouldn't hate the CD with the white hot passion of a thousand suns like I do if it weren't for the fact that the average length of one of their songs is 15 minutes. After the first minute or two, you say to yourself, "Man, this isn't good at all!" It's when you hit the five-minute mark that the idea of seppuku starts to look attractive. By the 10-minute mark, your family members are holding you down to prevent you from actually taking your own life. Of course, this puts them in the path of the musical danger that is Aionios, and it's only through the fact that the songs finally end that prevents any home that purchases the CD from looking like Jonestown.

The sad thing about this CD is that the aforementioned third song, "Nemea, 4069 B.C." is the truffle in the dung heap -- which isn't saying much. It's a very smooth, quiet, peaceful arrangement meant to give you a mental tour of the Grecian countryside. It's also almost eight minutes of the same music -- which is about six minutes too long. The last song on the album, "Through the Purple Forest," is an edited recording of a live healing session. Apparently, this could have taken up the entire CD. As it stands at 21:30 minutes long (the longest song on the CD), I can easily believe that. And unless this "healing session" was a euthanization, I don't think the healing worked. The other two songs, "Fire and Ice" and "Endless Night" are trainwrecks of synthesizers gone awry and long stretches of sound effects that drag this CD out.

The reason I gave you all the facts about the creation of this CD was to let you know that blame for this horror rests solely on the shoulders of the artists. Most intelligent artists with a creative vision tend to bring in other producers to help shape the music, offer an objective point of view, and flat out tell them when they need to try again. If this CD were the plot of a criminal mastermind to try and take over the world, I could easily forgive it. But in the end, this CD is basically just two nutty New Agers who were told by other nutty New Agers that their music was great.

Usually at this time, I make my recommendations as to who should buy this CD. To be honest, I can't recommend this CD to anyone. In fact, the only people who should seek this CD out are people with revenge on their minds or parents who want to punish their children for doing something really, REALLY bad. Something along the lines of burning the house down or killing the family pet. Other than that, the fewer people who buy this CD the better, sending the message to the Marinakises and to any other artists with the mind to produce their own music that our natural resources should not be wasted with the creation of garbage CDs. You have been warned.

[ by Timothy Keene ]

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