AKERCOCKE
Death Metal • United Kingdom

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Akercocke is a band from London, who incorporate progressive and black metal elements into their extreme styled death metal. They take their name from a talking monkey in Robert Nye's interpretation of the Faust-legend. They are famous for dressing in suits during concerts, their Satanic beliefs and having an extremely fast drummer.

The band was formed in 1997 by Jason Mendonca (guitar) and David Gray (drums). The two had been friends in the past, and played in Salem Orchid until 1992, when that band split up. They soon added a second guitarist, Paul Scanlan, and a bassist, Peter Theobalds. They self-released their first album, Rape of the Bastard Nazarene, in 1999; after this release met with some success, they were signed to Peaceville Records, an underground record company; their debut release for the new company was 2001's The Goat of Mendes. 2003 saw the release of Choronzon, on Earache Records.
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Words That Go Unspoken Deeds That Go UndoneWords That Go Unspoken Deeds That Go Undone
Earache Records 2006
Audio CD$6.99
$3.98 (used)
Goat of MendesGoat of Mendes
Peaceville UK 2005
Audio CD$6.45
$3.90 (used)
AntichristAntichrist
Earache Records 2007
Audio CD$4.99
$3.83 (used)
ChoronzonChoronzon
Earache Records 2003
Audio CD$5.99
$0.22 (used)
Choronzon/Words That Go Unspoken Deeds That Go UnChoronzon/Words That Go Unspoken Deeds That Go Un
Import
PID 2011
Audio CD$9.49
$24.96 (used)
Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone (CD + DVD)Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone (CD + DVD)
Limited Edition
Earache Records 2006
Audio CD$66.90
$3.87 (used)
Rape of the Bastard NazareneRape of the Bastard Nazarene
Import
Goat of Mendes 2006
Audio CD$10.25
$11.55 (used)
Rape Of The Bastard NazereneRape Of The Bastard Nazerene
Black Lotus 2010
Audio CD$15.99
$80.14 (used)
Words That Go Unspoken DeedsWords That Go Unspoken Deeds
Earache 2013
Audio CD$9.97
$16.67 (used)
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AKERCOCKE Discography

AKERCOCKE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Rape of the Bastard Nazarene
Death Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Goat of Mendes
Death Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 2 ratings
Choronzon
Death Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.02 | 3 ratings
Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone
Death Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.51 | 7 ratings
Antichrist
Death Metal 2007

AKERCOCKE EPs & splits

AKERCOCKE live albums

AKERCOCKE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1998 Promo
Death Metal 1998

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AKERCOCKE singles (0)

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AKERCOCKE Reviews

AKERCOCKE Antichrist

Album · 2007 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Pelata
Akercocke, England’s diabolical, intelligent masters of brutality, have returned with Antichrist; an album of superbly executed, well contrasted and aurally punishing Death Metal. After spinning this album several times, I can find almost nothing to even begin to complain about…almost.

First off, Akercocke is a wickedly good band. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a better, more talented group of Death Metal musicians. Every single instrument on this album is handled with the utmost skill and passion. The album itself, as a whole (which is how it is best taken), is a fine example of emotional give and take; head-crushingly brutal one moment and soul-stirringly beautiful the next.

If I had to point out anything that I think is potentially harmful to the album, especially when it comes to finding new fans, is that it’s similar to Opeth’s past work. The melding of Death Metal and Prog Rock is amazing to listen to, and I don’t believe for one minute that it was Akercocke’s intent, but I found myself saying “Opeth…Opeth…Opeth, again…oh man…” at Antichrist’s many twists and turns. Not any one album, mind you. But there is enough similarity in the vibes and moods of the album that the comparison is basically unavoidable.

I hate to even bring it up, honestly, but I can hear your average up-and-coming Metalhead making the same comparison and, as much of a crime as it would be, write it off as an aping. Antichrist may be a daring, bold move for Akercocke itself, but certainly not something we’ve not heard before somewhere else.

I’m sure Akercocke’s embedded fan base will take violent exception to this (as I am sure they can hear things in this album I cannot), but as good as this album is musically, it is certainly just as Opeth-familiar. It won’t keep me from listening to it, and it shouldn’t keep you from listening to it either…it’s a fine record. But I’m fairly certain you’ll be muttering the other band’s name several times in the duration.

AKERCOCKE Antichrist

Album · 2007 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
The first thought that came into my head upon by first play of Antichrist was: “Idiots” Yes, for all their technical mastery Akercocke have done what I consider to be the most idiotic thing that can be done with any album, and that is to begin the CD with an ‘intro’ type track that has zero musical integrity. Black Messiah is nothing but just under a minute of noise. In most cases I consider intro tracks to be pointless anyway (most of the time they were be better as part of the first proper song) but this just ridiculous. It’s like Akercocke were trying to give the skip button a meaning for its existence. This is by far one of the worst intro tracks I’ve ever heard. An acoustic instrumental would have worked well here especially as a lead-into Summon the Antichrist. But no, we get noise. As it goes this does make for an okay build up to Summon the Antichrist, but all in all this is just worthless and a very bad way to set my first impressions of the album.

Thankfully the album’s proper songs offer up more than enough redeeming factors for Black Messiah to be looked over as a stupid mistake. There’s plenty of variety on offer since Akercocke’s music is heavily progressive with much alternating between heavy and light sections and with the odd alternate music style thrown in for good measure (The Dark Inside has a section that sounds like new wave music for example). There’s a mix of harsh growls and clean vocals too, which is actually my second (and final) major complaint about Antichrist. It’s the growls that disappoint me. I’m not adverse to really brutal growling but I do like to at least hear what most of the lyrics are without having to follow the booklet and with Jason Mendonca you cannot hear a word that he’s going on about when he growls. In fact I struggle even when reading the lyrics out of the CD booklet. While this isn’t something that will greatly affect the impact of the music, since this sort of vocal is typically used like it were another instrument, it just doesn't sit quite right with me.

Song highlights from Antichrist are Axiom, which features a strong mix of acoustics (surprisingly with a blast beat drum pattern over the top, which even more surprisingly actually works really well) and heavy riffs and a great melodic solo section from Matt Wilcock. My Apterous Angel is another song that mixes acoustics and heavy riffs but with some sound effects of crows cawing that brings to mind a deserted ruin (probably of a church) on a bleak day. Given the album’s lyrical theme the effect really fit’s the mood of the story. Easily the best song though is The Dark Inside, which is one of the most progressive on Antichrist, mainly due to the new wave section that I mentioned earlier. It’s actually quite a surprise when it turns up but it does work really well for the song and Mendonca’s vocals are the best heard on the whole CD. The lyrics over the new wave section are even catchy and it is possible to sing along to it. Then the extreme black/death metal hits again with a great solo section from Jason.

Elsewhere Antichrist offers a bit of a mixed bag due to the fact that not every song on here is likely to meet approval with everyone who listeners to it. Many are so vastly different that people could like Summon the Antichrist, but not Epode or Distant Fires Reflect the Eyes of Satan. I’ll explain how the album varies. The Promise features only spoken word vocals and really does give a feeling that the band are trying to seduce you to partake in a Satanic ritual. That is one thing that Akercocke do really well with Antichrist. It is possible to form images in your mind about what is happening in the story. Distant Fires Reflect the Eyes of Satan is an instrumental and sounds quite random in the context of what the band are playing. First we hear some symphonic, then we get some tribal sound drums and woodwind instruments, what I think is a sitar and some chanting. It doesn’t really do the album any favours but at the same time doesn’t spoil it. Listen to it or skip it, it’s the strengths of most of the other songs that make Antichrist worth the money you pay for it. The album ends with Epode, a short acoustic piece.

Lyrical wise the album is heavily Satanic. Not that you really needed me to tell you that, just look at the CD’s title. The brutality of the actual music makes some black metal bands I know sound like Coldplay! So if the most extreme types of metal are your thing then this album is essential for you and if you are a fan of progressive metal then yes, definitely give this album a go as well.

Extra note on the limited edition: This version of the album also features two cover songs, Chapel of Ghouls by Morbid Angel and Leprosy by Death. Chapel of Ghouls is the better one of the two although I personally only know the original version of Leprosy so I have nothing to compare it with. Leprosy to say the least is a lot more brutal than the version that Death recorded but with Jason Mendonca’s voice on it, like the rest of the album, I can barely hear of word of the lyrics. It’s not bad but if you want this song you’re still going to be better off with the original, just like the majority of any cover versions. But both extra songs are worth having if you can get a copy of Antichrist with them on, since they add an extra eleven minutes to its total running time.

So in summary yes, this is an exceptional release from a band who are clearly masters of their trade, however Antichrist is far from perfect. But I’d say that seven of the ten songs on the regular edition are worth having (9 of 12 for the limited edition).

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