Saturday, 6 February 2016

Alphabetical Discovery - Week A, Day One: Akercocke

The idea behind this 'Alphabetical Discovery' shtick is to post a different band every-day, briefly talking about them and why [I think] they're good. It will be a daily thing, and each Saturday it will move on to the next letter of the alphabet. It's mainly about sharing various bands from various genres and maybe throwing in some odd-balls here and there. It's fitting that the first post for the first week (Week A)  is about the band that inspired the naming of Akerblogger: Akercocke. 

Akercocke existed in a world of their own; their mix of eccentric progressiveness (and a rather non-metal sophistication - just look at that suave band photo) with a brutal blackened-death hybrid was rather peculiar, yet it worked incredibly well. Formed in London in 1997, their five full-lengths (Rape of the Bastard Nazarene (1999);The Goat of Mendes (2001); Chronozon (2003); Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone (2005) and Antichrist (2007)) successively grew more grand and ambitious; progressive undertones and borrowings from the vast spectrum of extreme metal littered their later output, but each album, from first to last, maintained an abrasive technicality and a genuine originality. 

Mendonca's harsh vocals were truly maniacal, his cleans perfectly fitting and ritualistic, David Gray's drumming  inhuman, the lyrics unconventional and disturbing, and the scope and scale of the albums captivating; most importantly, in my eyes, was their ability to embrace melody and atmosphere, knowing that when treated with care and precision, it can intensify the abrasiveness sections ten-fold; Akercocke could, at one moment, be subtle and tender and at the next completely intense. Their musicianship is outstanding and it's truly shame they split up. The world needs these extreme-metal oddities. Peter Benjamin (Bass) and David Gray (Drums) went on to form Voices,  a very interesting progressive-black-death hybrid in their own right. 

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