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Album Reviews : Akuma – Shrouds of the Final Nothing

By on August 27, 2008

For those of you familiar with last.fm, Akuma is not a french hip-hop band. Instead, they are a four piece metal band from Newcastle.

This review has been in the works for a while since receiving this cd to review, but each time I attempted to start writing, I would find myself enjoying this cd too much – a perk of the trade you could say.

Upon listening to shrouds of the final nothing there are a few things you will notice; the band hasnt rushed any of these songs, showing from the word go with I Would that the band isnt afraid of writing intros. The second is that this is a great sounding record. For the drums having been recorded in one nine hour session, and everything else being recorded in either singer Luke O’grady’s house, or producer Mat Taylor’s, there is a very professional sound, and mix to the album.

Starting with the aforementioned I Would the album begins with a simple acoustic intro before the rest of the band (Jay Richards, Adam Stoyanovski, and Brendan Kelso) join in showing what they are made of. Soon enough Luke O’grady’s vocals join the mix. His singing would best be described as ‘hardcore’, and considering that genre is far from a favourite of mine, I was surprised to find myself enjoying them. The bands music though, is anything but hardcore. The lyrics on this album would best described as covering death, and the various aspects it has on the people concerned.

The music on the album is heavy, but with an ever present melody throughout. Insurrection follows next with more chunky riffs and choruses built to scream along to on the live stage. Way of the warrior follows suite, continuing the great start to the album.

What follows next is the Apocatastasis , a trilogy of songs: summit of Mogiddo, Apolocalypse, and Warrior Poet. Summit of Megiddo is quite a powerful largely instrumental track leading into Apocalypse the longest track on the album, and also the first time we hear some clean vocals into the mix. Something which is featured quite heavily in the latter half of the album. Warrior, Poet finishes off the trilogy, an acoustic track with raw emotion, one of the highlights of the album.

Final Confession, another highlight, kicks off as warrior poet fades to silence, returning with the riffs, and screaming, but with a fresh change in the chorus of Luke’s clean singing layered with the screams. Something that could perhaps be used more often in future releases. Without The Sun, returns to the brutality of the beginning of the album, and along with I would are the only 2 songs to have been previously released. The finger picking of the acoustic guitar sounds almost out of place on Await following without the sun but works great, and is used well to break up the brutality of the surrounding tracks.

Shrouds holds nothing back, and is up there with the heaviest songs on the album, but with great melody throughout, again featuring mix of heavy/clean vocals during the chorus, with Last Breath finishing off the album in a brutal fashion.

As far as local releases go, this is right up there, and definitely something everyone should check out. I look forward to the guys venturing south to Melbourne hopefully! 8.5/10

Band: Akuma
Album: Shrouds of the Final Nothing
Year: 2007
Genre: Melodic Death
Label: Independant
Origin: AUS
http://www.myspace.com/akumaband

Track listing:
1. I Would
2. Insurrection
3. Way of the Warrior
4. Summit of Meggido
5. Apocalypse
6. Warrior Poet
7. Final Confession
8. Without the Sun
9. Await
10. Shrouds
11. Last Breath

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Scott is one of the fine co-owners of this establishment, handling the live content side of the site. Since 2008 he has been supplying the site with finely crafted photos. Check out his other work at scottboelsen.com, or boost his ego on facebook