Released: 2005, Earache Records
“What, that band that wears suits on stage?” For many that is a common reaction when it comes to English Satanists Akercocke. Having never heard their music before, that was my own reaction when I received this album in the mail. I knew their image was unique, but I also knew that the band was deadly serious about their craft, evidenced by their interviews and the innumerable glowing reviews of their three previous albums. Armed with this little bit of knowledge, I eagerly dove into the album.
I had heard that Akercocke were a blackened death metal band, but after listening to about 30 seconds of opener “Verdelet”, I knew that description was false. “Verdelet” opens the album with a vicious death metal riff and equally vicious death grunts (we’re talking dying pigs here, folks!). That lasts for all of 25 seconds before the song switches into an atmospheric melody with melodic/shouted clean vocals. That lasts for about as long as the first section before breaking back into the death riffs. It goes on like this for the whole album! If music embodies a state of being, WORDS THAT GO UNSPOKEN… surely embodies schizophrenia.
The crazy part of it all is that even though the music is all over the road, it’s fucking good! Aside from the sound effect interlude of “Abbadonna, Dying in the Sun”, every song on the album is a clinic on devastatingly brutal progressive music. And yes, the vaunted blackened death metal does rear its ugly head numerous times before the album is done. The thing is, these aren’t songs. Yes, they have a beginning, middle, and end, and build very logically from one part to the next, but this album is more than a simple amalgam of songs. With this disc, Akercocke have created a horrifying and beautiful aural soundscape. It feels as though just listening to this album can expand your mind – no chemicals needed!
Simply put, WORDS THAT GO UNSPOKEN… is a singular achievement in heavy music. Clearly I have erred by not checking out this band sooner. If you already have, then I hope that this disc is already in your collection. If not, do yourself a favour and buy WORDS THAT GO UNSPOKEN immediately and let Akercocke take you on a delightfully terrifying sonic adventure.