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There I was after having heard 'The Goat Of Mendes', being for the most part a fast-paced deathly-black affair of good quality, thinking that like most bands Akercocke might just bring out 'The Goat Of Mendes Part Two'.
How wrong could I be?
I think the thing I like best about the album is that overall, in comparison to the previous two Akercocke albums, this is a far more lucid yet precise album. Mixing in far more "non-metal" influences & instruments than on previous songs, there is a far more diverse and structured feeling to this album.
Yes there are songs which are basically more "melodic" than previously, but this use of not melody per se but slower more focused songwriting only serves to heighten the impact of the faster songs as well as highlighting the intricacy with which Akercocke have written this album.
Earache chose to promote the album with perhaps the two most melodic/ lucid songs on 'Choronzon', namely 'Son Of The Morning' and 'Leviathan'. These songs, to me at least, strike as an almost eclectic mixture of vintage Type O Negative merged with some of the best sounds death metal has to offer. Definately the most immediately engaging tracks on the album, though if you listen to the other tracks enough of the way through, you'll find elements you'll like in nearly every song.
No wonder then that they recently won the Critics Poll in Terrorizer magazine for Best Album of 2003, for this is an album that will go some way as to breaking down the already blurred lines between not just metal genres but music in general.