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Satan wants you to hear this - 88%

Drowned, December 19th, 2005

This is one of the first releases from Florida's premier Satanic death metal band, Acheron. It's in the form of a 7" vinyl on Gutted Records, which I've been told was an early establishment of the Metal Merchant record label. I have to say that I was never a huge fan of Vincent Crowley and company, but "Alla Xul" is pretty damn cool for the most part.

The EP offers two songs of dark and catchy death metal with lots of variation in tempo. The lyrics are of an occult nature, dealing with LaVeyan Satanism, black masses, and other things of that sort. The production is very clear, especially in the drumming department. The guitars have a downtuned thrash metal tone to them, while the vocals are very ominous and are kind of a mixture of Jeff Gruslin from Vital Remains and Marc Grewe's performance on Morgoth's "Cursed" album. You can always understand what the vocalist is singing, which is a plus.

The title track opens up the 7" with a fucking killer, dark tremolo riff that will be stuck in your head for days. Unfortunately, it is very overused and remains exactly the same for two whole verses. This was a poor decision on the band's part, as this riff is easily the best on the whole EP. The drummer uses some simple double bass rhythms for this part, before speeding things up in the form of fast thrash beats to accompany the crazy guitar solos towards the end of the track. After what barely seemed like two minutes, the music begins to fade as you try to convince yourself that this can't be it. Sadly, the song is indeed over. I don't understand why they cut it short here. Everything was just starting to build up, and then they put a lid on the whole thing!

"One With Darkness" is the second composition. This one is more on the chunkier, mid-paced side of things. There's lots more double bass courtesy of the drummer as well as some higher pitched, black metal-like screaming from the vocalist during parts of the chorus. However, the greatest moment of the song is during the middle. It's here where the tempo slows down to that of doom, as a brilliant, Candlemass-inspired lead takes you by absolute surprise. This particular riff is just as memorable and dark as the one from the first song, but it's hard to really compare the two because they are so different in structure and tempo. To add to things, a beautifully impressive guitar solo is played overtop of the riff which only takes the listener further into a state of bliss.

Despite the unexpected end of the title track, this is a very good 7" and is reason enough for me to check out the rest of Acheron's discography.