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They dress as well as they play. - 95%

operaofdamnation, October 11th, 2005

Wow, just wow. The first Akercocke album to not feature boobies on the cover is as crushing as ever.
1.) Verdelet: This song is simply an amazing opener. It opens with a blasting riff and drums, but then quickly sweeps you into an atmosphere with the clean vocals and clean guitars. The riffage is as good as ever, switching between clean, almost-power-metal styles, to amazing Blackish solos. The variations between everything are amazing, styles, all fits together in something that just shreds, not to mention that the drumwork is stunning.
2.) Seduced: It opens up with a death-style riff, followed by a deep, Mortician-esque growl. It then goes into some killer double-bass work, which stays with the song, even in the slower, grungy parts.The parts that are spoken are a little strange, if nothing but creepy, but the guitars clearly make up for anything it leaves out. Then, trading between black shrieks and death growls, it creates a masterpiece, which is followed by more technically-astonishing death.
3.) Shelter From the Sand - Opening up with a spoken, slow part, it quickly leads into brutal death/black work, then trades off between the two unexpectedly for a bit, before slowing down and going from a spoken march to a soft, melodic part, then back between the two before going to a great guitar solo. More double bass work and spoken parts set the mood of the song. The only part of this song that gets annoying is the "maniacal genious" laugh/cackle that he does for about thirty seconds...thankfully, this is soon replaced by more shreiking and growls. More melodic parts, soon followed by technical death help keep the song going, if for a little too long, but the song doesn't overstay its welcome by much, because it then shifts to haunting organ-work and clean spoken parts, setting the mood for...a sappy part in a love story. Alright, it's a little weird, but it's alright, because hey, its Akercocke.
4.) Eyes Of The Dawn – Slow, atmosphere-setting intro leads into a death-style riff. Soon after, drums and growls join, then build up to some intense death/gore metal. Once the drums really kick in, it loses it’s gore style and gets into the better, technical-seath style. Then back to a gore sound, which kind of gets old after a little bit, but is soon replaced by a blasting of drums and guitars, leading into yet another spoken, odd part. Nothing really stands out until the drums at around 3:00 or so, which are amazing as usual. Then, it leads into a really grungy sound with a death voice, leading back into the pounding rhythm of the double-bass and vocals.
5.) Words that go Unspoken (Part 1) – Good intro, a spoken, melodic part leads into a grungy sound, then back into the softer, melodic part. It stays slow, but atmospheric for a while, before leading back into pulsing drums with a guitar solo, then into a weird industrial sounding overtone, but they do it well. After that, it leads into a death blast again, before going melodic, then back again to the grinding death, and topping it off by soon adding the Black Shrieks to it. This whole song is very atmospheric, one of my favorites on this album.
6.) Intractable (Words that go Unspoken Part II) – This song opens up slowly, some industrial tones to it, and stays slow and atmospheric for a while. Picture Type-O Negative with a little more dark/death to them. It then leads into the Technical Death that Akercocke is known for (See: Amazing.) It stays heavy for the rest of the song, sometimes going to Melodic Death, but always stays Dark and Heavy.

7.) Seraphs and Silence – This song blasts open with a Death tone, leading headstrong into ear-searing shrieks, followed by…Dani Filth?. Oh well, it fits I suppose. After a little more blasting, it leads into a slower, but still dark acoustic part, before blasting back with Gore-Death riffs and drums. Again the Dani scream comes up, but never stays longer than a few moments. Another spoken part (Haha, “Suck on the breast.”) followed by more dark, slow parts. It then picks back up, and is followed by more shrieks, more blasting on the drums, and a creepy laugh. Altogether, a good song, just not the best.
8.) The Penance- Opens with a typical death riff/screams, then goes into a short industrial part with an interesting riff, but then leads back into a black-style riff with more shrieking. The song really picks up and goes into amazing death at around 1:35 with an amazing death riff, then breaks down for a moment before leading back into it, and keeps it grinding for a while before dipping back down into another breakdown. Then, an odd spoken/screamed part comes on…typical Akercocke-style. It trades between spoken, shrieks, and growls for a while, before breaking even further down into a heavy, grungy death riff. It picks back up and leads into a really good solo. After the solo, it almost sounds like a baby is being murdered….which either creeps you out or excites you (hopefully the first.) before leading back into more death and grunge.

9.) Lex Tailonis – Opens with a really atmospheric part soon leading into rhythmic drums, guitars, and a flute. It’s reminiscent of Folk Metal, and is done well. The spoken part comes up, continuing the Folk-mood. It soon gets a little darker, but keeps the same slow rhythm. This song is a really good outro, it’s not amazing music, but it does keep the mood and atmosphere.

Overall, this album is not a disappointing one in any way. It should be easy for Death, Gore, and Black metal fans to like. It shreds the whole way through, and never disappoints for more than a few seconds.