Thursday, February 4, 2016

Akhenaten - Incantations Through The Gates Of Irkalla (2015)

A project of two very talented brothers, Akhenaten is a black/death act similar to that of Melechesh, Nile and SepticFlesh of whom has been covered here. The Houseman brothers have separate duties here, with Jerred handling all of the music and S. Wyatt handling the vocals. It's not an uncommon way to record and is exactly the same way that we do it in Torii. The brothers excel heavily in creating Egyptian atmospheres, especially when there are no vocal elements involved (and there are several of these). Incantations... is the sort of album that balances atmosphere and metal together quite brilliantly, except for just one tiny hiccup. It's very muddy during the metal sections and awfully low in the mix. It feels like a clean production process was used during it's sandy soundscapes and a rougher process was utilized during the metal sections, which seems to make the heavy stuff seem like it had been recorded in a separate box of some sort. My guess is that the metallic sections were recorded with a different program, or perhaps in a different quality, which makes the whole thing seem completely unbalanced as far as sound is concerned. Akhenaten feels like a good band with a whole lot promise, but you can tell that these guys have no real idea what they're doing as far as mixing is concerned and should have hired someone to do that part for them. I'll admit that I'm not all that good at it either and still don't like the quality of the first track on our forthcoming album, as I'm tempted to change it yet again. That's what I think needed to be done here. While Wyatt uses an excellent filter for his vocals that makes things sound inhuman, it can be very tough to hear anything of a metal variety apart from guitars. Perhaps the program they're using for drums is watermarked or something, it has a fuzziness that really thickens the whole thing in a not so memorable way. What is done here at a musical standpoint however, is celebratory and I'd certainly consider it promising. I think that fans of SepticFlesh and Melechesh are going to thoroughly enjoy the piece, but it still has some obvious mixing errors which definitely take away from what would be magnificent as a clearer performance. That being said, this coming from two guys is still quite phenomenal. As far as that SepticFlesh cover, “Anubis” is by and large one of my favorite songs but it's still a pretty tall order for a band just starting out. I'm glad to see that it left such a mark on them however, and hopefully they'll continue to expand and polish this middle eastern style with time.

(12 Tracks, 56:00)


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