Lon­don’s dap­per di­a­bolists arise with a more per­sonal per­spec­tive

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums -

FOR FANS OF: Voivod, Opeth, Enslaved



cult Akercocke first grabbed our at­ten­tions at the end of the last cen­tury with a riot of tits, bums and sac­ri­fi­cial goats, the be­suited quar­tet grad­u­ally hon­ing a deca­dent blend of full-throt­tle Sa­tanic bar­bar­ity and off­beat, New Wave im­pulses, get­ting pro­gres­sively, er, pro­gres­sive un­til the dis­parate blur of 2007’s An­tichrist. That LP has rested un­easily as the ap­par­ent vale­dic­tion of a mighty con­tender, but 10 years on it’s been bested by this vi­brant opus, a heart­en­ing re­asser­tion of their sin­gu­lar crafts­man­ship with a decade of per­sonal growth worn into the grooves. So the suits, di­a­bolic blus­ter and les­bian porn have given way to a more creepy, opaque aes­thetic, and the gui­tar tones are brighter and cleaner than the hy­per­blast of old. Son­i­cally there’s still that un­set­tling sen­sa­tion of skip­ping through a wave of (un­fea­si­bly good) radio sta­tions as dif­fer­ent styles co­a­lesce in eerie sync: prog, thrash, death, black, punk, post-punk, goth, am­bi­ent and even post-apoc­a­lypse jazz cabaret. Ja­son Men­donça tests his range from gut­tural grunt to heart­bro­ken croon, black­ened rasp to hard­core yell. Re­turn­ing ax­e­man Paul Scan­lan’s or­gias­tic so­los have been missed, while new bassist Nathanael Un­der­wood brings a play­ful in­de­pen­dence to the low-end. De­spite the dark­ness and melan­choly run­ning through it, for the first time the sen­sa­tion that per­me­ates an Akercocke record­ing is one of warm joy.

Akercocke re­turn to blaze a trail once more

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