Darkenhöld are from France and this is their third album.
They play Dark Black Metal with a strong melodic sensibility; this is a band who are comfortable adding a Blackened melodicism to their sound whilst retaining their core of grim fire.
This is Atmospheric Black Metal without being ostentatious or flashy. The band have a firm grasp on this side of things and although the keyboards and enhancements are an integral part of their identity they know how to control them and reign them in for full impact.
Somewhat of a cross between Dimmu Borgir and Naglfar, they join the ranks of some excellent recent Atmospheric Black Metal releases by the likes of Akrotheism, Imperial Conquest, Rauhnåcht, Unfathomed of Abyss, and others, proving that the style is alive, healthy and vibrant.
This style of Black Metal always takes me back to the mid/late 90’s and Castellum is no exception. This is a very enjoyable listen and the songs seem to roll out of the speakers with an easy flow, to be welcomed like old friends that you’re always happy to see.
Give them a listen.
Akrotheism have recently released Behold the Son of Plagues, which is a stark reminder of the power and glory of atmospheric Black Metal done in a non-symphonic way. With a path born of both nostalgia and forward-thinking, Akrotheism are certainly leading the way in this genre for my money. Words were exchanged below…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself.
Akrotheism consists mainly of four beings. Aeon, Naos, Schism and Dagwn. Also Scythe helped us in the recordings of our début album and in some live shows until now.
How did you form?
Our concept started to shape in the midst of 2012 when Aeon, Naos and Schism decided to share their common principles and ideology about black metal both for the music as much as the philosophy behind it. Later, Dagwn came to complete the circle of Akrotheism embodiment.
What are your influences?
Significant role on our creations plays our listenings which varies from 80’s classic heavy metal to late black metal, and dark ambient. Apart from the musical field, humanity, religion and society has a great impact to our minds so as to make us express our selves in the way that is described in our album.
What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?
Svartidaudi, Nightbringer, Dosdsengel, Acherontas, Mgla, Black Altar, Deathspell Omega are some of the bands that we are listening this period and we would recommend them to all those who are interesting in releases which are aggregated in all levels.
After our formation we gathered and started to combine some compositions that we had individually. The final composition though came during the recordings while several ideas was added on. The recordings completed at Devasoundz studios while the mixing and mastering took place at the Necromorbus Studio by Tore Stjerna. After that we asked from Timo Ketola to take care the cover art and from Marco Marov two inlay illustrations. Our logo also came later from Daniel Desecrator.
What can you tell us about the lyrics?
The lyrics are born through our daily contact with the society. The corruption of the mankind, the exploitation of human minds by religion and the sterile hopes to be saved are issues that constrain us to write about them and express our perspective.
In my review I say that you are taking the best parts of the mid-90’s Black Metal elite and making them your own. Would you identify with this statement?
The truth is that many of the bands of the second wave of black metal have affected our music as much as the new ones that I mentioned before. I would say that I agree partly with your statement in your review since I don’t find any similarity with Cradle Of Filth.
Are you satisfied with how the album came out?
Yes we are absolutely satisfied with the whole result and with Odium Records which released it. We feel that it supports us and we are thankful for that.
Would you do anything differently?
Any decision about the album taken after a mature thinking from all of us. Both musically and visually as well. So I think that everything is as we wanted to be.
We have no other aim than continue to exist. For us its the necessity to express our dark feelings and thoughts. Its like a purgation for our souls.
What does the future hold for you? Thanks!
We plan to do another split release with Ars Macabra and Septuagint and after that we want to focus on our second album. Thank you very much for the interview!
For their introductory track Sepsis Ex Nihilo Akrotheism show that they have the standard slithering, creepy guitar tone down to rights, but add to this with all manner of Hellish noises and effects. After this we have hyperblast Black Metal with maniacal vocals that sound straight out of a nightmare.
The singer alternates between ultra-high pitch screeches and deeper Blackened bellowing. The juxtaposition works wonders and the aggression is ramped up to 11.
The music is largely presented at breakneck speeds and is surprisingly atmospheric in places, aided as it is by a healthy dark melodicism and subtler highlights in their arsenal of grim delights.
Taking the most aggressive parts of the razor sharp delivery of the best of the mid-90’s Black Metal elite, Akrotheism combine elements of Emperor, Gehenna and Cradle of Filth to produce Behold the Son of Plagues. Second wave bands such as these have a special place in my heart and Akrotheism have produced an album that works wonders with these base influences.
Black Metal these days seems to mostly consist of the ultra-cold and minimal variety, or highly symphonic, or off exploring pastures new and only use Black Metal as their starting point; bands that combine aggression with atmosphere in a non-symphonic way appear to be quite few and far between, which is another reason that Akrotheism are so damn good.
An exceptional album, especially for a début. Akrotheism play a form of Black Metal that makes me recall past glories with a nostalgic fondness, but that also allows me to look forward to the future with a content heart as I know that the style is in good hands. Top work.