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Acherontia Styx – Your Possible Pasts

Acherontia Styx
Your Possible Pasts
by Jack Lynch at 27 August 2019, 9:35 PM

ACHERONTIA STYX are a Death Metal trio from Newcastle, UK.  Originally formed in 2007 under the name DEATH CERTIFICATE, and then LACERATION, the band was a five piece before two members left the group. Unfortunately, their 2008 “Fallen Creation” EP was never officially released as the record label Infest Records went bankrupt and the master tracks were lost. I’m not sure of the name of that album was meant to be ironical or not but “hey, art imitates life” right?  While that same year the band went on hiatus as members went their separate ways in pursuit of other projects. Now, after an 11-year departure ACHERONTIA STYX have reunited and cranked out a 4 track EP also appropriately titled “Your Possible Pasts”.  And while the EP boasts some heavy hitters much in the same vein as CANNIBAL CORPSE, the whole experience lacks a level of refinement could’ve made it feel less repetitive.

Just in case you were wondering, acherontia, is a species of moth much like the distinctive skull marked insect that is pulled from the throats of victims in the film Silence of the Lambs. This is a theme held throughout the “Your Possible Pasts” as one of the better songs on the album is named "Lecter", after the infamous cannibalistic forensic psychiatrist of that story. "Lecter"’s guitars gallop in tandem, harkening back to a more stripped down 80’s Thrash sound subsequently being chopped to pieces by sporadic double pedal that fans that at top speed. The band throws everything into the ring as Ron Bassman’s growls spit blood all over this track and the song reaches a chaotic finale. The opening title track "Your Possible Pasts" shows some toned-down variety as the first half showcases some clean vocals to set the mood before blowing up into more thrashy metal goodness. There is some good musicianship going on here it’s just a shame that the production doesn’t help it stand out more.


Unfortunately, the production is where “Your Possible Pasts” suffers.  The overall album seems to lack a level of polish to the point that it feels as if its not complete. The guitars come off dull lacking any real fullness that make them distinct, and the drums only seem to make an appearance when blasting machine-gun fire from the pedals. There is almost a DIY approach to the sound of the album, which makes me wonder if it was intentional or not. It sounds “garage band” in its recording, and unfortunately this keeps the album from standing on two legs. All the songs are made of the same flesh; Thrash type guitars, choking vocals, and double base pedal. Lather, rinse, repeat. Of course, there are differences between the songs but because of the hollowness of the production it makes everything run together and nothing feels distinct.  It’s a shame to, as I really appreciated a lot of the chaos ACHERONTIA STYX brings to the table.

“Your Possible Pasts” needs refinement. There is a good band here and it takes some proper production to bring that greatness to the surface. I would’ve much rather enjoyed hearing Bassman’s growls a bit more if they were over some crisper sounding guitars and songs that stood out from one another. I would like to recommend this album, but I feel as if there is already enough out there in the realm of Death Metal that has better production that’ll help keep your attention. There aren’t really any new boundaries being pushed here so if you happen to pass this one up, you won’t be missing much.

Songwriting: 5
Originality:5
Memorability:5
Production:5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Your Possible Pasts
2. Fallen
3. Lecter
4. Eyes of Glass
Lineup:
Ron Bassman - Vocals
Paul ‘Dinenthal’ Taylor – Guitar / Bass / Vocals
Adam ‘Gargantua’ Ashbridge – Guitar / Drums
Record Label: Dwarrowdelf Records
     


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