Released: 2003, Earache
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
What is it about England? Music that comes out of that country is either saccharine pop or slit-your-wrists gloom? For every pop singer like Robbie Williams and the late, great Spice Girls, you have My Dying Bride, Cradle of Filth and now Akercocke to bring you down. CHORONZON (meaning “Lord of the Hallucinations”) is the third release from Akercocke and their first on the mighty Earache Records after leaving Peaceville. These guys aren’t your typical corpse-paint and bondage gear band either; they play live in snazzy suits! Nice gimmick. The music runs the gamut from death, black and goth metal with some electronic bits thrown in. Akercocke’s lyrics are firmly planted in the occult in case song titles like “Praise The Name Of Satan” and “Enraptured By Evil” didn’t clue you in.
The album opens with “Praise The Name Of Satan” and a two-minute clip taken from an old movie, featuring a woman’s screams, stabbing sounds and satanic invocations. “Prince Of The North” features some classical music paired with what sounds like a banjo and some creepy horn thing. “Leviathan” reminded me of something that would not be out of place on Emperor’s PROMETHEUS album. It’s slower than the rest of the songs with tortured vocals. “Enraptured By Evil” is one of the best tracks on the album with its brutal vocals, anti-Christian lyrics and rolling blastbeats. This track is EXACTLY how Deicide should mark their return next year! “Valley Of The Crucified” and “Son Of The Morning” start out with a clean vocal and then kick back to the death style of the rest of the album. These songs also shift between lightning fast playing to slower more pronounced guitars and keyboards. “Upon Coriaceous Wings” is another creepy instrumental that had me reaching for the light! The CD ends with the keyboard and vocal track, “Goddess Flesh”. The vocals are simple, clean and rhythmic and layered over a track that sounds like strings, woodwinds, a tuba and a hi-hat. The perfect ending to the 50+ minutes of brutality that preceded it.
I warn you…DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS CD ALONE AND IN THE DARK!!! There are a lot of weird sound effects, creepy instrumentation and general atmosphere created to make you think you’re hearing things. I’m not joking!! These guys scared the shit out of me! They’re innocent-looking enough in their suits and could pass for a German power metal band at first glance but they are all about evil and Christ-bashing. CHORONZON was recommended to me by a friend and I bought it without hearing a single note. Of course the naked girl on the cover caught my attention, too, but that’s another matter. This is one of the best and most original CDs I have heard this year. Akercocke have arrived.
KILLER KUTS: “Leviathan,” “Enraptured By Evil”