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“Lex Talionis” continues where “Rites of the Black Mass” left off. Once again Acheron present straightforward, aggressive and pretty simple, yet very hard-hitting and effective Satanic old-school death metal. Just like on the debut, Acheron don’t use any blast beats at all here, “Lex Talionis” is a good choice for those of you who like death metal but don’t care for blast beats.
This album is structured exactly like the debut: intro, metal track, intro, metal track and so on. Peter Gilmore once again composed the intros and they are mostly instrumental keyboard tracks, yet one intro also contains narration from Mr Gilmore himself. I noticed that the that the melody in the beginning of the intro that is track 9 is the same as the opening riff of Unholy’s (FIN) track “Alone”. Personally I like these intros, they give you time to catch your breath before the next track begins. The production on this album is heavier than on debut, where I felt it was a bit too thin, so the music sounds more powerful and that’s great. Then again, Acheron have never gone for that typical modern multilayered death metal production, they’ve always had a more stripped-down approach.
Vince’s vocals are angry growls, yet he never ventures into cookie monster territory. Many times you can understand the lyrics without reading them at the same time and Vince also sounds like he means what he says. The lyrics are very direct, no hard to understand metaphors used here! Mr Crowley simply rams his message down your throat totally unapologetically.
The music alters between fast’n’ thrashy and slow’n’doomy. The songs often combine both these elements and it’s here that Acheron’s strength lies. As I said before, the music are pretty simple, this is definitely not technical death metal, easy to get into and the choruses are easy to remember. Acheron deliver with heaviness and conviction. The slow riffs during the first part of “Inner Beasts” remind me quite a lot of Black Sabbath and create a great doomy feel. More oppressive doomy atmospheres can be found on tracks like “Enter Thy Coven” and “Voices Within”. “Legions of Hatred”, “Slaughterisation for Satan” and “Purification Day” represent the faster, headbangable aspect of the album.
The solos are competent, sometimes even too refined for this type of music in my opinion. A bit more aggression and bestiality in the solos wouldn’t have gone amiss (use that whammy bar, c’mon!). “The Entity” is a re-recording of a track from Nocturnus’ first demo (which Vince Crowley plays guitar on) and this new version is nice indeed. They haven’t made any alterations to it though, it’s pretty much 1:1 to the demo version but the sound is better of course. Another ex-Nocturnus member, Mike Browning, plays drums on this album. “Lex Talionis” is highly enjoyable old-school death metal with solos that bring in a traditional heavy metal feel. Acheron managed to carve out their own niche in the death metal scene, as their stuff is neither typically early 90s US or Swedish death metal.