Released: 2009, Ibex Moon Records
After 20 years in business and seven full-length albums (to go along with countless singles, demos, and compilation appearances), the American death metal institution Acheron is calling it a day in January 2011. They released this, their final album late last year. Personally, I haven’t had much contact with the band over the years. I reviewed their covers album, TRIBUTE TO THE DEVIL’S MUSIC, but wasn’t really impressed with it so I’ve never bothered to check them out further. Still, they’re a respected band in death metal circles, so let’s see what their swansong has to offer.
Needless to say, Acheron stands for American death metal and that’s exactly what you get on THE FINAL CONFLICT. Leader Vincent Crowley’s vocals are harsh but understandable, getting across his anti-religious epithets in powerful form. Musically, this is fairly mid-paced death metal, concentration more on intensity and groove than technicality. I’ve read where there is some fan debate about the “single” from the album, “I Am Heathen”, with some casting “too modern” accusations at it. Well, it does kind of stick out on the album as stylistically it is more stop/start and groovy than the rest, but it certainly isn’t anything that you can holler “sellout!” about. Let’s face it, this is Acheron folks, they’re not going to be aiming for radio play or huge album sales.
Anyway, THE FINAL CONFLICT is a very solid album. There may not be anything there that makes me go, “Fuck yeah!” but there really isn’t anything to complain about either. Acheron fans can certainly buy this without fear, while death metal fans that maybe haven’t checked out the band before would be wise to give this a chance. If this is indeed Acheron’s final record they can be proud that they’ve delivered the goods and stayed true to their roots.