Akercocke: Choronzon

Akercocke. This band from London will always be one of my favorites. Not necessarily a Black Metal band like those I have talked about already on here. Though Akercocke does take clear Black Metal inspiration. I would consider them a Blackened Death Metal band, though it is very hard to put a label on them as they kind of just do whatever they want. Nevertheless, they are heavy, melodic when they want to be and wear their satanic shtick on their sleeves.

The only album I physically own from them right now (something I plan to change) is Choronzon. And what a cool album it is. It begins with the mercilessly dark and epic Praise the Name of Satan, a song that begins with a very unsettling sound sample from the Hammer House of Horror episode Guardian of the Abyss. And then tearing into a dark thrashy guitar riff and an eerie synthesizer. The album is very innovative in its regular transitions from soft but nonetheless atmospheric and spooky and fast and brutal. Neither sound ever looses the creepy and demonic atmosphere. It really is a masterpiece. Some personal highlights for me other than the aforementioned Praise the Name of Satan are Leviathan, Son of the Morning and Scapegoat.

One other thing I always found interesting about this band is that the imagery in music videos and photographs is often quite erotic and strange. But this is probably the only band I have seen to use nudity and such in a way that isn`t pretensions or gratuitous way. I guess people would call it “artistic nudity”. The way they dressed back in the day was interesting too. Where most bands who dress up usually do it with a sense of spectacle, e.g. Corpse Paint, spikes, fire etc. This band would show up wearing fancy suits and ties, usually black suits and red ties or the traditional white shirt with black pants and tie. Sounds silly but mixed with the music, lyrics and overall theme at atmosphere of the music, it works surprisingly well.

The band sadly split up in 2012 but in 2016 reunited, played some big-time shows at Bloodstock ect. and even released a new album Renaissance in Extremis and no-one was more overjoyed than I. This is a great band that continues to evolve and experiment with subsequent releases and I could not recommend them highly enough. 


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