In the thirteen years since the establishment of this Greek occult outfit, Acherontas rose to the top ranks of Hellenic black metal in no time. From the ashes of their previous band, Stutthof, in 2007, mastermind vocalist/guitarist V.P. Sorcerer continued to explore the mystical and mysterious enlightenment of the so-called the modern unorthodox black metal. Despite seven studio albums, I only became familiar with the eccentric style of this Greek quintet through their latest efforts, ‘Amarta (Formulas of the Reptilian Unification Part II)’ and the 2018 album ‘Faustian Ethos‘. From each full-length album, Acherontas has experienced a synthetic change which led them to the mysterious elements of mystical melodies. To say that the Greek quintet has found its own segment in their later years would be a fair statement. Their particular and distinctive style forged a mystical sound through experienced musicians such as guitarist Saevus H., bassist Hierophant, guitarist Indra and drummer Dothur.
‘Psychic Death: The Shattering of Perceptions’ unfolds the aural magic of its sublime melodies. What Acherontas offers on their latest album is a consistent musical coherence. The sense of Scandinavian black metal is channeled through a flitting, tight percussion and surmounting tremolo pickings. The opening track, ‘Paradigms of Nyx’, tackles the dark malicious tone of the cleaving lead guitars and the fiendish vocals. This creates a ritualistic feel to the music, but fans who have been following the band will stumble upon the direct execution of aggression. In many instances, Acherontas manages to incorporate different elements: ‘Kiss the Blood‘ quickly brings the tremolo pickings to a high pitch and the spoken ominous words sound like magical incantations.
By the sound of the chiming bells, the guitar melodies lay catchy hooks and the musical arrangements including the mystical samples are emphasized. The song bursts forth into a rapid motion of cacophony with the guitar harmonies firmly layered in the song texture. You’ll soon begin to grasp the musical spheres which the band unfolds. It’s also noteworthy to say that the modern Greek black metal bands have metamorphosed from the orthodox style of black metal bands like Acrimonious or Serpent Noir. Acherontas now seems to incline towards the mystical palpation. This transformational process began in the last few years and by all means, I find this a very natural change. ‘The Brazen Experimentalist‘ accentuates the traditional style of black metal with the kind of melodies that will stun you with sudden astonishments.
The guitar melodies ascend high as the band covers the epic scope where the contrast between the beautiful melodies and the vicious vocals is brought to perfection. There are many fast sections where the drums burst into velocity and despite these moments, Acherontas creates much diversity. These traits have become rooted in the band’s DNA. ‘Psychic Death: The Shattering of Perceptions‘ also reflects upon the rhythm guitars. The album title track drifts deep into the melodic domains of mysticism and is stemmed by the clean spoken words.
On their eight studio album, Acherontas provides their most satisfying effort to date. The guitars here are played as fluently as they sound vibrant, cleaner and they have a unique melodic sound. The crystallized production of the album enhances each instrument. ‘Coiled Splendor’ has a varied approach. Acherontas captures the ritualistic quality of the occult with both the guitars and the chiming bells creating a spiritual aura. The song is exhilarated by the textured solos while the tremolo pickings give it a black metal identity. Other elements from progressive rock music show the wide inspiration of this Greek band.
‘Psychic Death: The Shattering of Perceptions‘ coils and slithers from its mystical and occult atmosphere. Concerning the lead guitar, a prominent role is obtained from the second wave of black metal. ‘The Offering of Hemlock’ emphasizes clear, mystical notions with the tremolo tones ebbing back and forth. The music veers away from the tranquil melodies and slowly shows the strength and the capacity to transition into furious black metal. ‘Sermons of the Psyche’ is another highlight where the power of the percussion along with the searing tremolos unleashes a storm of Hellenic fury.
‘Psychic Death: The Shattering of Perceptions’ is caught in between a mystical exhilaration, but simultaneously proves that Acherontas still has the fire of the occult blazing in their souls. ‘Μαγεια των καθρεφτων (Magick of Mirrors)’ soars high to the divine planes as the catchy performance of the guitars creates celestial melodies. The spiritual nature of the spoken words sounds otherworldly and paints an imaginary canvas of esoteric beauty. With ‘Psychic Death’ the Greek outfit managed to bring a unique flair to the masses.
Release Date: June 26th, 2020
Label: Agonia Records
- Paradigms of Nyx
- Kiss the Blood
- The Brazen Experimentalist
- Psychic Death “The Shattering of Perceptions”
- Coiled Splendor
- The Offering of Hemlock
- Sermons of the Psyche
- Μαγεια των καθρεφτων (Magick of Mirrors)