Akercocke | ‘Goat Of Mendes’
Foam at the mouth and a commotion in the trousers! These were the effects produced upon the inaugaral spin, along with an inane grin and eyes rolling back in their sockets. Sure enough the new Akercocke delights even more than expected, anticipation having reached boiling point since the signature to Peaceville was announced to Ireland in our own interview with David Gray some months ago. If you thought that it was nigh on impossible for them to surpass the brutality of the first one, then it is my pleasure to contradict you because the sheer heaviness of this cd is unbelievable.
This piece of plastic oozes evil from every pore, it is harsh, spiteful, hateful and dark as fuck. This is the type of music that practically no one has made in years, and indeed the similarities to early Deicide permeate throughout. Such variety and challenges could only come from a hungry, young and energetic band; this cd is a goldmine as far as death metal is concerned and refreshes the brutal rule book on many occassions. Tonally it is better than the first (though that wouldnt take much), but still a sort of necro production is preserved- this is by no means glossy, quite the opposite in fact. Its raw, but really well executed raw, and is reminiscent of a host of early 90s Scott Burns jobs.
So how have Akercocke developed then? Of late we have been treated by many name bands to a fusion of death and black metal, a fusion that started most overtly with Immortal’s “Blizzard Beasts” and continued through Angelcorpse to Emperor via everyone else. But I have to say that as fusion artists, these guys pretty much slay the attempts of all the bigger ‘name’ bands. Taking not merely the best elements but the paragon virtues of each style and melding them together with deft perfection and fluidity, they have created a hybrid of flawless evil breed.
Cradle of Filth’s early classics, Darkthrone’s “In the Shadow of the Horns” and Suffocation are all worshipped seamlessly in the albums highlight, “A Skin for Dancing In”, and the namechecks above should give you some sort of idea of the atmosphere that is created and manipulated. Close vocal harmonies leading to rampant bezerk screams and ultra brutal death grunts….heaven. In fact the more I listen to this cd, the similarities to “Principles…” becomes ever more apparent. Thick, morbid hellishness storms forth from “The Serpent” and trust me, I havent heard a cd in ages that just makes me so fucking hateful. Every so often a band comes along that defines a new epoch. Akercocke are that band, and should do for UK metal what Anathema, MDB and Paradise lost did 10 years ago: create a vibe, something to be proud of and classic albums. This is basically as good as extreme metal gets – it is a classic. Listen to this cd. Its life affirming.
5 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 15/6/01