World Terror Committee
Fresh out of a split with Nightbringer last year, Greek ritualistic black metal band Acherontas this year presents followers with yet another round of their brand of trance-inducing music with their fourth full length release, Armenti.
The heavy emphasis on the atmospheric aspects of Acherotas‘ music is pretty obvious right from the opening track Voluntas Supra Materiam “Vocatio Prima”, and one is left with the high tension that the band has created leaving the listener feeling uneasy as hell. Even as the album kicks off proper with Amenti – The Lamp ov the Desert, along with the slight Norwegian black metal touch with the riffing styles of band mastermind Acherontas and Saevus being rather reminiscent of bands such as Mayhem, early Darkthrone, but this is where comparisons to the old greats end. Instead, for the most part Acherontas‘ style is more similar to their American compatriots Nightbringer, though things are certainly not any easier-listening than before, replacing that heavy and broody atmosphere with one that is cold and harsh. While Acherontas tends to utilise the traditional black metal stylistics, the way that these are executed are extremely haunting, through the usage of whispers, and demented screams and shouts that are present at the background.
As one familiar with Acherontas‘ works would have already expected, the atmospheric aspects in the music is perhaps the key element of their style, and on Amenti this is no different. Throughout the entire record the music is shrouded in darkness, and this is also evident through the instrumentations, like that rather suppressed-sounding lead guitars, often playing a dark and somewhat melancholic tune to reinforce the already heavy mood that one feels from listening to the music. Clean vocals and what sounds like a sitar are also used on Nebt-Het – Divulgence of Ηer Sacral Temples, giving the band a unique flavour. Ambient moments such as those towards the end of the title track Amenti are also not uncommon, and the band also makes use of sound samples such as the tolling of the bells and the rumbling thunder to signify the lurking of an evil omen.
Furthermore, the long track lengths and overall run time of the album means that the band has more than sufficient time to build up such tension and that sense of uneasiness in the air, and there are moments where one almost feels as though this were a never-ending journey, yet feeling captivated by the ambient that is created by the band at the same time.
To ensure the fullest experience of the album, the lyrical department is also well-researched, and I can’t help but think of bands like Acrimonious with the depth and amount of thought put into the lyrics, complex and detailed, yet avoiding the pitfall of sounding pretentious. Unlike many black metal releases of late, Acherontas manages to avoid falling into the same category as many other of their compatriots with the well-thought out Amenti, both in terms of their song and lyrics writing.