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Akerbeltz - Satanic Award winner

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 28 August 2017, 7:55 AM

Spain’s AKERBELTZ is a one band black metal band; the man whose name is where the band takes its own plays all the instruments and all vocals.  I don’t know what it is about one man black metal bands but they always kick ass.  “Satanic” is a corrosive, sometimes so dark its beautiful, and deadly album.  Opening track, “The Red Dragon,” is one such song that is features some very cold melodies over the depressive black atmosphere and its quite moving in its first two minutes.  The abrasive satanic destruction rears its beastliness in the form of AKERBELTZ’s searing vocals, in which he sounds like he is growling with a mouth full of gravel and backed by pure chaos.  The riffs are not the typical tremolo picking so often found in black metal.  It is featured here, of course, but there is also so much more he offers.  Around the 3:23 mark of “The Crypt,” the riffs really remind me of some old school trash, specifically in “In My Darkest Hour” by MEGADETH.

On “Beyond The Reflections,” the riffs have an insane galloping groove to them, not unlike a brutal version of IRON MAIDEN or perhaps even ANTHRAX, if that band was wrapped up in the eternal forces of the damned. “Ludum Mortis,” opens with some more of that dark but wonderful melody, created by clever use of the lead guitar to create sounds that also serve as solos to bridge together the rest of the song that has some thunderous use of drumming to send it all into an unholy explosion about a minute into the song.  The riffs here are extremely fast and tight; I wouldn’t be surprised if his fingers bled during the recording of this song. As the name would suggest, “Opus Satanic” is an epic track that is a blast of intense black metal fury, especially with his drums and their chaotic symbol usage and barrage of snare hits.  Around the 2:24 mark the riffs get groovy as hell (haha, get it?) for a second and it really sets the stage of the remaining minute or so of the song that ends in a cascading fury, like shadows covering the sunlight.

I also must brag about the production. It isn’t often black metal has production worth talking about but this album sure does.  Firstly, it’s very abrasive—those black metal purists won’t have anything to complain about because it still sounds like it was recorded in a rusted bath tub.  However, it really works for their sound because the abrasiveness of such a production isn’t drowned by muddled sounds or a low volume setting.  Everything is clear and loud and it mixes with the dirty production so well it gives the album this weird alien yet familiar setting.  It’s as if it was recorded in a time long forgotten but still refuses to fade away into obscurity.  This album has earned a place as one of my favorite black metal releases of the year.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Red Dragon
2. A Deed Without A Name
3. Ye Olde Hag
4. The Crypt
5. Beyond the Reflections
6. Witchery
7. Ludum Mortis
8. Opus Satanic
9. Chaos
Akerbeltz – Vocals, All Instruments
Record Label: Black Seed Productions


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