Released: 2015, World Terror Committee
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Two years after the successful “Amenti”, Occult black metal masters Acherontas are back in 2015 with their fifth album called “Ma-IoN (Formulas of Reptilian Unification)”. Since its release, this opus has been highly praised and considered as a masterpiece by the whole international press (including even some renowned national magazines). It has received plenty of outstanding reviews and it wasn’t surprising for me as I knew already the origins of this Athenian legion.
Indeed, I discovered them when they were previously known as Stutthof, cult Greek vampyric/occult black metal band formed in 1996 under the name of Worship. Then, they changed their name again to Acherontas in 2007 in order to explore deeply the paths of spirituality and mysticism. In many interviews, their mastermind Acherontas V.Priest insisted upon the fact that his goal was to create something unique. After having listened to those new fantastic compositions, I have to say his aim has been fully achieved!
Musically and lyrically speaking, “Ma-IoN (Formulas of Reptilian Unification)” is one of the most original black metal albums ever made, turning the Coven (as they call themselves) into a unique entity. It is important to highlight the fact that some very talented musicians have contributed to the carving of this masterpiece and they are all part of cult black metal bands. For example, the excellent production has been done by Thomas Tannenberger (from Abigor) and some session guitars have been added by Indra (from Naer Mataron). Moreover, Scorpios Androctonus (from Crimson Moon) and Gionata Potenti (from Frostmoon Eclipse, ex-Ad Hominem & ex-Macabre Omen) are permanent members of the Coven.
Let’s be clear here: we have a dream team in front of us and the result is simply impressive.
They have sculpted eleven tracks of pure esoteric art, driving our mind into the infinity of cosmos. Each of them is a dark ceremony haunted by the ancient choirs of the dead. The instrumental songs are fascinating and the shamanic folk elements remind me the ritualistic art of Shibalba (V.Priest’s Dark Ambient side-project). His vocals are very personal, alternating hateful screams and aggressive clean voices. They resound like infernal incantations whereas his whispers emanate a mystical aura. Some eerie keyboards have been majestically inserted into their inspired compositions to create an ancient Sumerian atmosphere. That represents one of the trademarks of the band since the release of “Tat Tvam Asi (Universal Omniscience)” in 2007. At that time, Demogorgon (from Legion of Doom) did an amazing job on the synths. Gionata Potenti (aka Thorns) has shown that he’s an incredible drummer, which isn’t surprising when you see the high number of great acts he used to play for in the past. The guitar solos are brilliant, offering a melodic aspect to this succession of rites. In my opinion, “Therionic Transformation” is the best song of the album as I can feel the magical shadow of Stutthof soaring gently behind it. That’s how Acherontas should sound!
Even though the Coven shares the occult musical approach proper to the Hellenic old-school black metal scene, they have succeeded in forging their own style for many years. Released by the excellent German label W.T.C. Productions, “Ma-IoN (Formulas of Reptilian Unification)” is one of the Greeks’ finest creations for sure. However, it will never surpass Stutthof’s astral atmosphere and deep feeling. That’s one of the reasons why they still perform their old classics such as “Wampyric Metamorphosis” and “The Horned Moon” to close their ceremonies in apotheosis.
May they follow this same path of infinite wisdom in the future!
Review by Oliver Manso