Words that go Unspoken, Deeds that go Undone
The meaning behind the band's name is intriguing, and doesn't appear in any Thesaurus that I've sifted through lately. Apparently Akercocke is the name of a talking monkey in (an English poet) Robert Nye's adaption of the Faust legend. So what are we therefore to expect from this band, who have been known to don a suit and tie ensemble when performing live, or even this release?
The first track, Verdelet, is an excellent track that showcases the diverse musical style the band has displayed on previous releases, most notably two years earlier on Choronzon (2003). Chunky guitar riffs open this track and change pace innumerable times during the song's length, at times reaching a speed to make even the most hardened of thrash aficionado drool. Jason Mendonca's vocals range from a spoken tone to a low growl, even at times attaining a piercing barking scream, sounds a little strange but it works very effectively.
The next track, Shelter from the Sand, is an Akercocke classic. Running over ten minutes in length it runs the gamut from a slow pace with an acoustic vibe that highlights hyena like laughs, screams and growls to a quicker gallop accentuated by Mendonca's grunts, growls and full impressive vocal range. Church bells make an appearance alongside the atmosphere provided by the keyboards, which at certain moments take on an electronic-esque soundtrack feel. An overall gothic occult vibe weaves its way around doom passages and grindcore interludes to make this an epic track that never gets dull and one that isn't easily forgotten. For want of mentioning every track, for there really isn't a horrid one to be found here, up until the last I will summarize lest I never finish and I start to become unhealthily obsessed.
The last track, Lex Talionis, is one of my personal favorites. A ritualistic drum beat accompanies a slow melody paired with choir-esque singing fromMendonca, a combination that leaves you thirsting for more. The song itself has a malevolent and sinister feel, the structure and breakdowns frequently balance precariously on the edge of a change of pace only then to revert back to its former feel. A nice touch in the final song on an album that is anything but predictable.
Five, naked buxom blondes tied to the altar awaiting a descending sacrificial dagger, out of five or as we say here...
SPIN IT IN THE PIT!!