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ΑΧΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ – Malocchio: The Seven Tongues of Δαημων

ΑΧΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ
Malocchio: The Seven Tongues of Δαημων
by Gary Hernandez at 24 April 2022, 11:56 PM

ΑΧΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ (formerly ACHERONTAS). Let’s pause here a moment, because this seemingly simple transition of a name is actually a bit of a nexus. ACHERONTAS was the name of Black Metal foursome that formed in Athens, Greece circa 2007. After eight full-length albums (the last one issued in the year of our plague, 2020), the band changed its name to ΑΧΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ in 2021. They released their ninth album, “Malocchio - The Seven Tongues of Δαημων,” on March 14, 2022. The reason for the name change wasn’t due to line-up changes or lawsuits or marketing, rather it marked the transition of the band members from one degree in their occult evolution to another—maybe adept to priest, or to magus, or to something else altogether—the point being though, transition.

All things considered, we might approach ΑΧΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ as a Ritual Performance band as opposed to standard musical group, or at least “Malocchio - The Seven Tongues of Δαημων” as a ritual performance. By most accounts, the seven tracks that make up this album can be seen as hymns or an accompaniment to ritual or ceremony . . . or alternatively as meditative pieces for the pondering of the great, dark beyond. Let’s just say these are meant to be more than tracks to jam to.

Each track clearly intones a deity/demigod/entity and the lyrics describe their divine attributes and bid them to grant their favors. So, yeah, not quite your standard Metal fare . . . but still in range of Extreme Metal. To truly measure the value of this album you might need to listen to it while crafting a silver blade under the virgin moon on top of some hill in a cemetery, but what the hell, I’ll give it a go. With that said, this is one hell of Black Metal album. Standout tracks are “Leviathan – The Fervent Scales in Reverence” with its seismic riffs and howling vocals; “Satan – Exaltation of Unbeing” which, despite its suggestion of unravelling, is a very tightly assembled track with a killer lead guitar solo; the epic “Hecate – Queen of the Crossroads,” complete with a synth intro, a mid-track break into crushing riffs, and an atmospheric outro replete with disturbing field recordings and haunting piano. I also really liked “Choronzon – Webs of Alienation” which exercises three or four full movements, each of which could stand as its own track.

If this album is meant to be a devotional, V.P. Sorcerer is the star chorister delivering vocals across an unexpectedly wide range of styles from guttural (of course) to banshee screeching (again, of course) to warbling, operatic (did not see that coming). The triple assault on the guitar front is also impressive, though it does make it hard for the rhythm section to fully punch through. I mean the tempo is there and you can hear a suggestion of a bass line, but I would have loved to give my subwoofers a bit more of work out. Not bad for Black Metal, though.

I have to say, this album isn’t nearly as evil or creepy as I thought it was going to be. And, yes, I know that totally reveals reductive biases on my part, and I own that. All that is to say, if transcendental Black Metal is off putting to you in concept, try to put that aside and give this album a real listen. There are movements here that are utterly stunning—and not because they summon sentient aspects from a darker plane, but because its fucking good music.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Lucifer - Breath of Fire
2.  Leviathan - The Fervent Scales in Reverence
3.  Belial - The Enn of Beliya’al
4.  Satan – Exaltation of Unbeing
5.  Choronzon - Webs of Alienation
6.  Hecate - Queen of the Crossroads
7.  Δρακων - Αpotheosis
Lineup:
V.P. Sorcerer – Vocals, guitars
Saevus H. – Guitars
Hierophant – Bass
Indra – Guitars
Record Label: Zazen Sounds
     


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Edited 27 November 2022
 

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