“Death Chants” C42 (Already Dead)

Here, Ak’chamel has perfected the power of the dirge. Each one of these tracks is a funeral procession, dark, full of dread, mythical in its incantation, and magical in its execution. Don’t get me wrong, though – there are no gnomes or fairies or anything here, not even any good wizards or witches. Ak’chamel’s magic is the blackest of the black, exactly like the metal hat they try on for “The Tragedy of Birth,” a literal black metal excursion that sets the rest of the tape in stark relief against it. It’s a new direction for Ak’chamel (at least from what I’ve heard), and it suits them just fine, appearing as a poisoned oasis in the midst of a wilderness where every edge is serrated for maximum skin-shredding. But that wilderness where Ak’chamel dwells, the regular old unholy ground of terror and ancient malevolence, makes up the majority of DEATH CHANTS, and for that we are thankful. I didn’t even mention the word “cult” yet, but Ak’chamel’s fans – er, cult – (that was sort of backward, huh) – will have nothing to complain about. DEATH CHANTS is, probably pretty obviously, music for nocturnal chambers or forest clearings where rituals occur in secret. Acoustic instruments drone their primeval purpose, melodies absent in the service of pure tone, recorded in secret from the rear of midnight ceremonies. Each rite is a supplication to Ak’chamel, and Ak’chamel returns the sentiment in a pestilent overture of destruction. Listening to DEATH CHANTS, it’s impossible to expect your experience to end in anything other than a maelstrom of agony, but that’s what these cult creeps are all about, aren’t they? It’s weird, then, that they’re so incredibly poised to break out into the mainstream and engulf the Bible Belt with their weird and woolly beliefs. Watch out, Jesus!

Already Dead
Ak’chamel, the Giver of Illness

--Ryan Masteller