AKERCOCKE – Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone

AKERCOCKE - Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone

Summary

Earache
Release date: October 10, 2005

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Nevermore and Into The Moat first proved in very different, but still very similar ways, that if experimental, dark, and intense Heavy Metal is your bag, then the U.S. of A. is the place to look. Two awesome albums that proved that beauty and intensity in darkness is still alive and breathing. Then, the Norwegian Black Metal trio Nidingr, as well as Dimmu Borgir with their re-release of the classic Stormblåst argued that there was no reason at all to look outside Norway. But now, as 2005 slow gets closer to its ending days, here comes this bizarre and wicked British five-piece to turn things upside down.

Akercocke consists of Jason Mendonca on guitars and vocals, David Gray on drums, Peter Theobalds on bass, Martin Bonsoir on keys, and Matt Wilcock on additional guitars. This is their fourth full-length release and second on their current label, the ever-productive Earache Records (their debut, Rape of the Bastard Nazarene, was released on their own label, Goat of Mendes Records, back in 1999, and the follow-up, surprisingly entitled Goat of Mendes, was released on the legendary Peaceville label in 2001).

The band’s music is definitely of the kind that’s almost impossible to label with a traditional genre term –- the riffing owes as much to Vader and Cannibal Corpse as it does to Pantera, and this is then arranged in an almost 70s progressive fashion (in “Dying in the Sun,” for example) but with an Emperor-like, gloomy mood, making the music a great backbone for the group’s Satanic message. To break things up a bit, the band adds clean guitars and some keys. In “Seduced,” for example, this is done with great effect. The vocals vary from a huge Death Metal growl to a spastic, manic, Ihsahn-style clean voice, which screams out the lyrics in a very emotional way.

It is difficult to pick highlights, as the album is probably best listened to as a whole, but the opener “Verdelet,” with its speedy and catchy riffing, is a safe bet, as is the atmospheric “Seduced,” the progressive “Dying in the Sun,” and the gloomy pair of “Words That Go Unspoken” (parts 1 and 2). Those into intense riffing and deadly-tight Death Metal drumming should also definitely check out “The Penance,” a song that in many ways sums up the album with its use of atmospheric leads and several vocal styles to create diversity. The dark and symphonic closing track “Lex Tallonis” –- think “Inno A Satana” and “Alsvartr (The Oath)” meets Orphaned Land and Blind Guardian — is also definitely worth lending an ear.

Anyway, this is one of the albums that needs plenty of time to get used to and to get completely under one’s skin, but it’s definitely worth it. A demanding piece of music that is extreme in every way, but an album with lots of hidden qualities that will grow on you for weeks and months to come. A must have for every fan of Extreme Metal. Also, be sure to check out the band on their ongoing European tour –- they are definitely not your usual Death Metal band.

Author

  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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