Released: 2015, Debemur Morti Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
I have been a long standing fan of the work Naas Alcameth has created with Nightbringer and Bestia Arcana, and he now returns under a new pseudonym of AKHLYS. The statement released regarding this album states that AKHLYS was conceived to serve as a voice for the muse that arises from the dark lands between death and dreams.
But does it hold up next to Naas Alcameth's work with other projects? Not only does it achieve this, but it also separates itself entirely from his previous work, and carves out a sound all it's own, that will surely stand as a modern classic in the black metal genre.
The five tracks blend into one and other seamlessly, combining dark ambient and drone like soundscapes with far distant tortured vocal passages that give way to monolithic black metal sections that suck the listener further into the abyss.
Despite the songs having such long lengths, (the longest clocking at just under 17 minutes) the album does not drag, with a crisp production that has found a blissful line between being not too polished, and not too raw. The songs twist, turn, evolve and destroy, with varying passages that repeat enough to sink in, but not long enough to drag, before moving into another section of dark monstrosity.
All the characteristics of the black metal genre are here, tremelo picked guitars, blast beats, wretched vocals, subtle keyboards but the way they are executed is so exhilarating. The ambience in this album will blow you away, being the most defining goal in the black metal genre. This album manages to achieve it from the first note, and continue to build and build upon it until the listener has become one with Naas Alcameth's dark and twisted dreams.
A modern classic, a creative masterpiece? All of the above.
Review by Danny Page.