Akercocke - Antichrist CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Akercocke - Antichrist CD Review

Akercocke - Antichrist CDWikipedia describes the band as "[as] a British progressive blackened death metal band. They are well known for their Satanic beliefs and for wearing suits while performing live." Without knowing this, you can read a few of the song titles ("Summon the Antichrist", "Distant Fires Reflect in the Eyes of Satan") and quickly know what the band is about lyrically.

Musically, this has to be one of the more interesting death metal releases of the year. The band mixes the expected blast beats and cookie-monster vocals with intricately played melodies and vocals. There is also a fairly consistent middle-eastern feel to this disc which is very prevalent in songs like "The Promise" and the instrumental "Distant Fires Reflect in the Eyes of Satan". Few bands can pull off this much diversity in styles both within and between songs but Akercocke makes the sound flow seamlessly.

One of the many things I enjoyed about this disc is that it doesn't include Yngwie Malmsteen style guitar wankery that too many death/extreme metal bands indulge in. (I am really getting annoyed by bands who play the technically precise solos that are boring and meaningless). The "progressive" elements of this disc are probably closer to the early 70's British art rock bands like Yes or King Crimson.

For anyone who hasn't heard the band, the song "Axiom" show the talent and musical range of the band. Singer Jason Mendonca also has a great vocal range which can span the range of a growl to a soft croon.

It is interesting to note that the band's lyrics are causing quite a bit of commotion. I have a promo version of this disc so the only song where I can clearly hear the lyrics is the final track "Epode". This is a soft ballad where the lyrical themes are about surrendering to Satan.

The song "Summon The Antichrist" caused quite a stir when the band was touring Ireland this past May. (The amount of controversy was a bit surprising as bands with similar lyrical outlooks, like Deicide and Slayer, have all played in Belfast before) Check out this video clip from the BBC of vocalist Jason Mendonca and drummer David Gray in a live debate over this controversy.

Akercocke is touring Australia next month and here are all the tour dates:

Oct 19 2007 8:00P The Arena w/The Berzerker Brisbane
Oct 20 2007 8:00P The Factory w/The Berzerker Sydney
Oct 21 2007 8:00P Crowbar w/The Berzerker CS.UNI Wagga
Oct 24 2007 8:00P Fowlers w/The Berzerker Adelaide
Oct 26 2007 8:00P Heat Nightclub w/The Berzerker Perth
Oct 27 2007 8:00P Hi-FI Bar w/The Berzerker Melbourne
Oct 28 2007 8:00P Hi-FI Bar w/The Berzerker Melbourne

Akercocke's Website
Akercocke's MySpace page