Akercocke - _Rape of the Bastard Nazarene_
(Goat of Mendes, 1999)
by: Paul Schwarz (
Though the eight second introductional proclamation and slightly lacking (particularly where the drum sound is concerned) production should give this record a little less than the nine out of ten I have bestowed upon it, the potential for brilliance which the music contained on _RotBN_ possesses gives me license, I believe, to "break the rules" in order to more likely draw your attention to this different and uncommonly good black/death-type metal band. Akercocke, at the core, are violent and ripping death metal which draws black metal comparisons via the kinds of atmospheres the riffs create and the passing similarities one can detect to Cradle of Filth's _The Principle of Evil Made Flesh_ (which, though primarily regarded as a black metal record, is certainly strongly death metal influenced). Furthermore, Akercocke do not merely blast it out with the best, they also incorporate searing noise/industrial elements into songs and interludes and thus succeed in adding a fresh dimension to their extreme metal base. The aforementioned "blasting" is also not Akercocke's only way of expressing themselves using only their basic instruments. Though the majority of the album is fast and sung with pronounced "unclean" vocals, "Marguerite & Gretchen" is a creepingly slow, bass guitar dirge led experiment, utilising vaguely choral sounding melodic vocals, which certainly breaks with the traditions of the other influences Akercocke display. The lyrical themes are Satanic, but (unlike many a "Satan!"-screaming release) also show evidence of having had both thought and time put into their writing. Akercocke have produced a dark, distinctive and somewhat original record; they have been let down slightly by production as many unsigned bands are, but their talent and potential shine through and make _RotBN_ the best release from an unsigned band I have heard this year.
Contact: Akercocke, 97 Victoria Rd., London, N22 4XG, England
(article published 12/8/1999)
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