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Acherontas – Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions Award winner

Acherontas
Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions
by William Travers at 18 May 2020, 8:44 AM

Greece is a country steeped in history, tradition and deep cultural roots. When one thinks of Heavy Metal, with the exception of ROTTING CHRIST, one does not tend to think of the Mediterranean country. However, we have ARCHERONTAS, a Black Metal band that has been active since 2007, with an impressive back catalogue of 23 releases, ranging from EP’s, splits, live recordings and full length releases it is clear that these are not new kids on the block. With their most recent release, “Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions” we have almost an hour of the Hellenic outfit’s offerings the scene. So, without further ado let’s get stuck in.

The artwork is somewhat of a watercolour portrayal of various mystical and religious symbology. In fact, one can see death riding into the picture. The album opens with “Paradigms of Nyx” which as a title is a hat tip to the cultural heritage of the band, with Nyx being a ‘Pirmordial deity that preceded both the Titans and Olympians… She was the daughter of chaos’… Thank you Google… Musically, it is chaos. There are many moving parts that create an atmosphere of dissonance that somehow, and I’m really not sure how, all manage to come together to create something special. With the ebb and flow of the tempo giving way to further layering techniques that help to continue this chaotic atmosphere.

“The Brazen Experimentalist” again builds on the established depth that has been established With stereotypically furious paced riffs and blast beats that are then accented by a one of the band’s guitarists just seemingly having a great time running around his fret board. This subtle add on is an incredibly effective way of adding a depth to the track that pushes it beyond being ‘just another Black Metal track’ and being something of its own accord. One could even say it was… experimental.

The album’s titular track, “Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions”, opens very gradually, with clean guitars and a softy floaty overtone that makes one feel as though they are drifting through space. However, when the main body of the track kicks in we are treated to a ritualesque style of music and deliverance of the lyrics. The space that the listener was travelling through soon turns to purgatory, misty and confusing. This track has a likeness to some BATUSHKA tracks and overall is delivered in a very impressive manner, it is unconventional Black Metal… Shattering pre conceived perceptions of what Black Metal tracks should sound like. The stark contras that this track offers to the rest of the album makes it my pick of the album.

“The Offering of Hemlock” is another track that opens with a soft introduction. But, do not be fooled, do not be lulled into a false sense of security, as the aggression and ruthless pounding rhythms are to return with a vengeance. The already established and effective layering techniques are again utilized to great effect throughout. Finally, “Magick of Mirrors”. I have to say that I am almost at a loss for words toward this track. It encompasses everything that has been great throughout the entire album. Gentle drawn out introductions, multi-track layering and intricate weaving musical lines that compliment one another to create an epic outro to a fantastic album.

Overall, I would say that this is a must have album for any fan of Heavy Metal. It is a showcase of pure musical talent and understanding, invoking various emotions into the listener throughout. It is less of an album and more of a journey. So, I implore you reader, get out and get this album and bask in what ACHERONTAS have created.


Songwriting: 10
Musicianship:10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Paradigms of Nyx
2. Kiss The Blood
3. The Brazen Experimentalist
4. Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions
5. Coiled Splendor
6. The Offering of Hemlock
7. Sermons of The Psyche
8. Magick of Mirrors
Lineup:
V. Priest – Vocals/Guitars
Saevus H. – Guitars
Inda – Guitars
Hierophant – Bass
Dothur – Drums
Record Label: Agonia Records
     


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Edited 05 June 2020
 

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