Review: Akercocke – Renaissance In Extremis

10 years. How quickly does the time fly? Since London’s Akercocke released 2007’s ‘Antichrist’ a lot has changed, be it technology, politics or musical trends. Yet something that hasn’t changed is the band’s thirst for darkness, and time away has only seen them grown thirstier. With this, their first full-length in a decade, they more than make up for lost time.

It only takes one listen to ‘Renaissance In Extremis’ to see how much the extreme metal scene has missed the evil that Akercocke produce. Only true masters of their craft can create such a tightly wound, intricate and intoxicating symphony, yet the band make it look pleasantly straightforward. Time spent in the shadows has seen their songwriting become even more twisted and battering yet also given them time to perfect the more melodic elements in their arsenal.

‘Unbound By Sin’ is a dizzying mix of blast beats and discomforting passages of progressive riffing while ‘A Final Glance Before Departing’ slinks and slithers down your spine like an icy cold finger with its debauched atmosphere. It makes for an utterly frightening and haunting listen that feels like a soft kiss on the cheek one minute and a hand gripping your ankle as it drags you down to hell the next.

Not for the faint of heart, ‘Renaissance In Extremis’ is a masterclass in devilment. A perfectly balanced record of darkness and decadence, Akercocke have taken their time in making a record completely worthy of putting their name too rather than putting out something that feels half hashed and lazy. For those ready to take the ride and indulge in this rich tapestry of blackness, the reward will be great. Be warned though, you may not be the same person when you come out the other end.

3.5/5

‘Renaissance In Extremis’ by Akercocke is released on 25th August on Peaceville.

Akercocke links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)

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