Written by: PP on 18/08/2007 21:52:02

Black metal doesn't get any blacker than on Akercocke's new album "Antichrist", a progressive metal opus with daring references to satanism and anti-christianity. This is an album likely to push the Christian right into a permanent state of shock, through its nearly repulsive guttural growls about summoning the Antichrist and other deeply offensive topics to the religious.

Large parts of the album consist almost entirely of feedback filled noise, double-pedal domination and Illdisposed-style indecipherable vocal work. Had the entire album been like that all the way through, I would've binned it after the first listen and spent the rest of this review speculating how typical of an album it would've been for the black metal genre. But it's not like that. "Axiom", for instance, borrows heavily from the mellow parts of progressive legends like Opeth - the acoustic guitars, the amazing melancholic clean vocals and the grandeur vibe - and contrasts it directly with the aforementioned wall of devilish noise. The transition from one to the other is so quick that you'll think you've skipped to the next song, as the brutal drumming suddenly pauses for jazzy guitars and clean vocals, before the clean vocals mix with the incoming thick guitar layer. At other times, the opposite can happen: the bestial growls can provide an intensifying element to the beautiful guitar arrangements when they are done right. And they are done right many times throughout the album.

It's a shame that the band is so stubbornly stuck in anti-Christianity that they end up scaring many potential listeners away, especially in the deeply religious USA. With song titles like "Distant Fires Reflect In The Eyes Of Satan" or "Footsteps Resound In An Empty Chapel", they can be pretty damn sure no Christian is going to publicly acknowledge a liking to the band. And in the end, if you recognize the existence of Satan, then surely you must also recognize that God exists. Alas, their hatred of Christianity becomes rather useless. A very interesting effort, nonetheless.


Download: Axiom, Summon The Antichrist, Footsteps Resound In An Empty Chapel
For the fans of: Furze, Opeth, Panzerchrist
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.05.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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