Title: The Law Of Seven Deaths
Label: Osmose Productions
Release Date: 29 March 2019
Format reviewed: Digital promo
No one can deny that metal has somewhat of a shock value and out of all the sub-genres, I believe black metal has the biggest one, considering its controversial past. Some bands play just for this, to appal, others try to distance themselves from the fathers and adopt a softer approach in sound and themes, others to express their adversity for the world, but few play the brand of devotional black metal that I came to relish. This is not the kind of black that has a basic barbaric sound and edgy lyrics that at times feel like they were written about an angry teenager that tries to infuriate his parents. No, this brand black is thoughtful and this is the one that at times it can get genuinely terrifying. In the ranks of such bands you can also find AKROTHEISM.
The group formed in 2012 in Athens and since then they released two splits and two full-lengths, the latest being “The Law Of Seven Deaths”, out on Osmose Productions. According to the band, their name if formed from two greek root words. Akro means pertaining to an end, at the extremities and theism is the belief in the existence of God or Gods and by combining the two the band expresses its “abhorrence for the destructive fanaticism of mankind about a God that will act in turpitude to serve its passions.”
“The Law Of Seven Deaths” is a highly enticing album, made of seven songs that span a 56 minute playtime. It opens with “Typhonian Serpents”, a song that wastes no time with unnecessary introductions or atmospheric moods, it dives straight into the record that I feel sounds like a summoning ritual. The eight minute opener will give the listener an idea of the complexity of the album, with various tempo changes and the guitar lines that are are dissonant and yet melodic at times. The track that follows, “Manifesting Tartarus”, is a bit more aggressive than the previous song, however, this savagery is portrayed differently than you would think and I will get to that in a minute. Two more tracks pass before reaching “Oracle Mass” (the title is a greek phrase that could be translated to what it is, what to become, lust and death) , a hellishly abrasive, tribal interlude that feels like another opener, the opener to the end of humanity, before diving into the longest song on the album, “Skeptomophes”. It is by far my favourite song and I believe the most diverse one, that captures all the things that make the band special. The closer is a hypnotic six minute track of dark ambient with indigenous instruments.
When is comes to sound, no one can deny the belligerence of the music, but it does not feel artificial or forced. It rather portrays the true, basic nature of the human being, our primal desires, and not rage that needs justifying. The drumming also helps, because tribal rhythms can be heard throughout the record, making a reference to the ancient times when the only rule was instinct and primitive needs, without accentuated consumerism and idiotic norms. One more thing I want to give credit to is the impressive vocal performance and the diversity, from shrieks to more guttural sounds and even some shamanistic chants. The lyrics rely heavily on symbols and they are rather esoteric in nature, but from what I can understand, they treat the matter of the destructive desires of the human being, a theme that complements the music well.
AKROTHEISM have composed an album that is thoughtful but also primal and show a musical prowess that even some veteran bands might envy. Don’t miss out on this release and try to uncover the true you, buried under years of modern society. 9/10 Metal Gentleman
9/10 Epic Storm
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.