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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly ambitious Black / Death crossover
Without a doubt the finest British Death Metal band around at the moment, the well-dressed and cultured Akercocke are an awesome proposition and this their third album shows how seriously impressive they truly are. Their last release The Goat Of Mendes was an excellent record, but this is on a different level altogether. Frontman Jason Mendonca’s vocals range from a...
Published on 31 Jan. 2004 by brasshande

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stuck In Second Gear.
Akercocke full-lengths can be reviewed in three different stages. First, we have the beginning. This was where 'Rape of the Bastard Nazarene' splashed on to the scene with very little impact. It was the beginning, so mistakes were made and errors were at the heart. The second stage would be where Akercocke began to swing towards a crossover genre between black metal and...
Published on 28 Mar. 2009 by S


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly ambitious Black / Death crossover, 31 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Choronzon (Audio CD)
Without a doubt the finest British Death Metal band around at the moment, the well-dressed and cultured Akercocke are an awesome proposition and this their third album shows how seriously impressive they truly are. Their last release The Goat Of Mendes was an excellent record, but this is on a different level altogether. Frontman Jason Mendonca’s vocals range from a beautifully sung rich baritone to an awesome Death Metal growl, the drumming is insane with blastbeats and double bass runs all over the place and some of the guitar playing is truly spectacular; the riff which opens ‘Enraptured By Evil’ is enough to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. However, it is by no means all one-dimensional thrashing and blasting, this album has more than it’s fair share of light and shade. Moreso than its two predecessors, Choronzon sees Akercocke using electronic noises and synthesisers in a manner similar to bands like Voivod, and it adds a whole new level of interest to an already superb album. The best use of this technique is on the spectacular stand out track on the album ‘Son Of The Morning’ where the song begins by sounding like the Sisters Of Mercy and builds in intensity, heaviness and speed over its six minute-plus running time until at the end of the song it sounds like something from Suffocation’s legendary Effigy Of The Forgotten. Earache Records gave the band the budget to come up with an album to do justice to their undoubted songwriting abilities which they were never able to fully do before and they certainly came up trumps. The best British Metal release of 2003 without a shadow of a doubt, these dapper London gents showed that Cradle Of Filth aren’t the only band from these fair isles that can produce a noise which is extreme yet still has a relatively wide appeal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise the Name of Originality, 9 Jun. 2006
By 
This review is from: Choronzon (Audio CD)
I bloody love Akercocke.

Their brand of blended black and death metal shines out like a beacon in this modern era of extreme metal.

Choronzon has all the makings of an album that will go down in history as the day black and death metal were finally meshed so perfectly that you wouldn't know you were listening to either, as Akercocke have come up with a sound all of their own.

Of course, it is death metal and it is black metal. Without some kind of reference to adhere to this review wouldn't make much sense. But its the seamless blending of the styles, not to mention the accoustic touches and electronic moments that make this my favourite Aker moment. I've got all thier albums and this one for me is the best.

After a lengthy intro we get to taste the immeadiate darkness of "Praise the name of Satan." Its one of two ways Akercocke open their songs on this disk. The quick semi blasting bar, followed by a cooling of the jets, then the rush as it just tears off into all out black metal blasting. The other (ie: Enraptured....) is the shredding riff, followed by blasting drums and then the Mendonca extended death growl.

Jason Mendonca's vocals are exceptional. His range is truly amazing. From Clean singing, through to Black metal screaming and down into the completely uninteligble monstrous growling. He has it all.

This review has gone on far too long now, so I'll just say my personal faves on this album are 'Enraptured by Evil' for its shredding opening riff and all out brutality. 'Valley of the Crucified' for its opening clean vocals, superceded by some of the heaviest metal to come out of the uk...and a killer lead solo!

Special mention must go to the track 'Leviathan' which show cases some different styles both vocally and musically. A small tip towards what was to come on "Words..." Which is also completly mind blowing, but for slightly differnt reasons.

A fantastic album for all fans of intelligent, and yet brutally dark extreme metal.

Get all their stuff...get it now !!!!!!!

6 stars !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boasting a multitude of sins!!!, 26 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Choronzon (Audio CD)
This is whats its all about! This album is the best thing I have heard in a long time.
Firstly, I would just like to say that it is so refreshing to be able to listen to an extreme album (its not purely death metal) and recognise the band straight away! Even the tracks are instantly recognisable. Thats something that I haven't been able to do for a long time with alot of the death metal thats been coming out.
So Choronzon. It opens with a dark and quite nasty spoken intro, moves into some very effective black metal style moments... and then blasts into an all out assault of death metal greatness. And thats just the first track!
The mix of styles and ideas on here are breath taking. The impressive range of vocal talents from Jason Mendonca is enough to carry the tracks alone, but the drums, guitars, keyboards and tempo changes are all arranged to give the most perfect sound I have heard on one album.
I am a big fan of the fast death metal sound, but the clean vocals and clean guitars of tracks like Leviathan and the opening to Son of the Morning, just ooze class and style.
The black metal riffs that occur from time to time (coupled with Mendonca's screaming vocals)really give a dark and ominous feel to the tracks. Its Black metal one minute, then with a gut wrenching tempo shift, its all out furious death metal slamming.
Some of the opening riffs are enough to make you go weak at the knees. My obvious choices for this are Enraptured by Evil (like everyone else by the looks of it) and Becoming the Adversary.
The drums are furious through out, except when the time calls for them to be pounding out slow death marches, which, to be fair, are usually followed by a Mendonca gutteral growl and double bass blast beats.
I would liken some of the sound to Nile. But I can't. Its of the same intensity (although not complexity) but its so distinctive that you just can't confuse one track for another. (I love Nile by the way, but long sessions of their albums become hard on the ears as far as finding something new from track to track goes).
This album has some of the most superbly timed solos. You know they are coming by the build up of the sound and the vocal arrangements, and then, boom, the solo rips in at the perfect moment, topping off a point in the song that if it was miss-timed by even a second, it would be ruined.
Personal moments of greatness on this album? The openings to the two tracks mentioned already. The whole of Valley of the Crucified. An epic work in both classical style and death metal sound. Masterful. The chugging riff just after the clean vocals, followed by the speedy pick up, then back to clean guitars is amazing! Then the blasting death metal frenzy that follows is pure brutality.
If you haven't got this album...
Well...
Pah!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Akercocke Show the Rest Of Europe How It's Done, 25 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Choronzon (Audio CD)
Akercocke have risen fast since those 6 years ago when i saw them play under the name Salem Orchid.
There 3rd Album see's them becoming much more comercial but they still have not lost their original sound.
Earache records have supplied them with the money to make their most powerful recording to date.
There are clear moments on the album that sound like tracks from The Goat Of Mendes but this is balanced out by the fact that they have created so much more different sounds also, for example this must be the only album where u will here preaching, satanic gatherings, virgins being murdered, music reminemt from 80's funk and full out Death Metal all on one cd!
Stand out tracks are for me:
(Enraptured By Evil) - True death metal with a riff that will make the hairs on your neck stand on end.
(Leviathan) - The First Ever Akercocke track to contain of 7 mins of singing and not screaming, rest assured this is definately not a bad thing due to James Mendonca's incredible satanic harmonic voice.
and lastly
(Son Of The Morning) - First A Groovey tune, then some satanic singing and then full out blistering Death Metal.
This Is The Album Of 2003 and also will be of 2004 and will carry on to be the best album ever until they release their next cd in the hopefully not too distant future.
Buy it and buy it now
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4.0 out of 5 stars savage,manic and as usual mellow, 31 July 2006
By 
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Choronzon (Audio CD)
Akercocke are very much a hybrid metal band and are as extreme as they come in many levels but they are more interesting than the majority of ultra heavy bands as they blend electronic moments with acoutic moments and clean vocals along with the standard black metal and death metal styles.

Thats not to say that i think that they will appear on gmtv live anytime soon but they are a band that challenge peoples conception of heavy music.

Choronzon is the bands third album and most acclaimed and is an album that can batter your senses while bringing great moments of melody and unpredictable moments to the foreground as well.The band may dress in suits and look like members of a choir but they dwell in evil and this is very much an evil album,not that im a satanist or anything like that,this is just simply great music.Songs like enraptured in evil,son of the morning and leviathan all contain moments that will shock as they are really mellow,while songs like valley of the crucified bring new meaning to the word savage,but even when they are heavy they still sound fresher than the majority of heavy bands,this is an album that some may like even if you think you wouldnt,take a chance readers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Light, Mellow and Funky, 8 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Choronzon (Audio CD)
No its none of the above, but there is a lot more to the album than blistering death metal. There are moments of atmosphere to savour amongst the carnage, whether through melody, synthesisers, clean guitar with two dollops of chorus effect, or through samples. Too many black and death metal bands forget how to punctuate the aural assault of blast beats and guitar blur with something effective, but Akercocke don't.
There's obviously more to this band than the majority of the extreme metal scene, this could be one of those runaway albums that ends up winning a Brit award or featured in the Smash Hits poll winners party. If you believe that you're silly, but it does deserve acclaim as a standout album in its field.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stuck In Second Gear., 28 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Choronzon (Audio CD)
Akercocke full-lengths can be reviewed in three different stages. First, we have the beginning. This was where 'Rape of the Bastard Nazarene' splashed on to the scene with very little impact. It was the beginning, so mistakes were made and errors were at the heart. The second stage would be where Akercocke began to swing towards a crossover genre between black metal and death metal, perhaps with a hint of progressive in the middle. It was where two full-lengths marked the changes Akercocke were making to their sound and signified that, despite the problems of the debut, they were working on improving.

This stage was when the second album, 'The Goat of Mendes' and the third album, the one in question, 'Choronzon' come into play. The next stage is the one we're currently at. It's a stage which is typified by the transition in sound Akercocke have made. The crossover into two genres is now complete and a progressive style of play is being enforced more upon the audience. This stage would be where 'Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone', the forth album and 'Antichrist', the fifth album make their way to centre stage. This latter period of Akercocke's established career is probably where they have gained the majority of their fans and the most of their recognition. However, one will be focusing on the end of the second stage in 'Choronzon'.

As previously states, 'Choronzon' would mark the continuation of Akercocke's transformation. It seems to be a period where the band were trying new things and experimenting with their sound. Whilst 'Choronzon' and the previous album before it, 'The Goat of Mendes', aren't held in as high esteem as the two following them, they are accredited with the turning point of Akercocke's career. 'Choronzon' to me especially marks the era in the career of the band when clean vocals started to have more of a role within the music. Tracks like 'Leviathan' are a prime example of Akercocke's desire to move more towards a clean style than simply sticking with the lack of variation in vocals shown on the debut. The debut signified problems with the vocals, in my opinion. They were weak. The band had a severe lack of direction in almost every department, so changes needed to be made and thankfully, for both the band themselves and us, the fans, changes have been made. This very fact is an example of how Akercocke aren't afraid to experiment with sound. It may not work yet, but one day, with enough experimentation, their sound will come. 'Choronzon' was released at a time when Akercocke hadn't yet perfected what they were later going to go on and achieve, but it was a decent effort at the crossover genre.

Improvements have been made, as I said, in every department. The growled vocals are stronger, the clean vocals are immense and add a totally new dimension to Akercocke and the rasping black metal vocals are powerful. They would later go on to improve the vocals even more so, but at this stage, they were as good as they could have been. The vocals were still an issue on the second album, but by now, Akercocke were finding form and beginning to look as it they were hitting their stride. Experimentation is priority. In order to find out what suits you best, you have to experiment. Tracks like 'Leviathan' and 'Son Of The Morning' are good examples. Layered guitars are proving to be a hit, especially as the musicians behind Akercocke were beginning to grow in stature. Musicianship was good, but needed improving at this stage.

There are times when the level of experimentation is good. Riffs are solid, executed superbly and the solos are enjoyable alongside the dynamism of the percussion and vocals, but there are certain points when Akercocke slip back into old habits and produce a mediocre moment. Where good riffs may be picked out, the vocals dampen the urge to do so. Too many filler tracks has always been a problem with Akercocke too. They add nothing to the album, 'Choronzon'. Nor do they really add anything to any other album. The audience isn't in need of light relief because, even though the tempo does become quite fast at times, it's not that hard or heavy to withstand.

'Choronzon' also represents a time in Akercocke's career when keyboards are figuring more and more in their routine. The keyboards aren't developed as well as the riffs, or the percussion at this stage. Bass doesn't leave much to speak of. The musicians aren't playing in tangent at this stage of their careers. 'Choronzon' does make a habit of becoming a bit of a mess at times. The keyboards especially. Soundscapes deteriorate and songs draw on old habits by lacking direction. Heaviness is used as a substitute for precise play. Where simply slowing the tempo down would be wonders for Akercocke, they turn the heat up. This album, 'Choronzon', is a sign of improvement, but still showed me that the band needed to do some work still.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it is rated the best metal album of 2003 by the kerrang mag., 17 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Choronzon (Audio CD)
the music is very evil.and it is sooooo amazing i can't even say.it is a total really heavy metall masterpiece.it is just fat.
there is a lot of in-human and brutal screams and roars. and also the singer has an amazing baritone voice,with clear comanding tones that put you in a warm and amazing but evil atmosphere.i do really mean it is a 5 star album.and kerrang means it to.what makes it different from any thing else is akercocke's sublime and hard driving use of "the blast"and the kick drum and the snare are are used in so many amazing different ways.in each instance the effect is amazing. and it goes together so perfect with the ultra heavy death metal thrashing riffs.i think that this is such a rare ocasion that musical intelegence can be so clever and perfect.it is so good that any person with any musical interest will absolutelly love it.i don't think any better metal albums will come out this year.i am so sure about that.i think if you like any heavy band you will love it.listen to me you must buy it.
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Choronzon
Choronzon by Akercocke (Audio CD - 2003)
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