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Review: Akercocke - Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone
Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone

Label: Earache Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 47:59
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: May 5, 2009
Reviewed by: Brett Buckle
Readers Rating
Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone

Rated 4.35/5 (86.96%) (23 Votes)

Akercocke began back in 1997 as a harsh and somewhat primitive Black/Death metal band with a gimmick. They have come a long way in the years since, introducing some slight progressive elements from 1999's still raw The Goat of Mendes ("A Skin for Dancing In" anyone?), and expanding upon that with the absolutely godly Choronzon. For their fourth full-length Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone Akercocke have taken it to the next level with haunting and progressive music that retains the extremity of their early years and given their genteel Satanism a place where it really feels at home.

"Verdelet" opens Words… perfectly. Dispensing with the lengthy intro (thank fuck we aren't subjected to a minute and a half of lame sound bites this time), they start straight off with the metal. A more perfect album starter I cannot imagine, as squashed into its four and a half minutes is a little bit of everything that Akercocke has to offer – crushing metal riffs, furious blackened blasting, echoey progressive sections, melodic leads and incredible song writing. "Seduced" is the two of the one-two punch of intro songs, and blasts along with latent rage, and gives some great examples of the often brilliant lyrics:

Demeaned and demonized by God,
A God so full of self hate,
Futile hate,
He loathes even his best creation.

After this we get the 10+ minutes of "Shelter From the Sand", which, while being full of incredible moments, seems a little directionless, a victim of its own pretensions. It is far from bad, but it did take me a lot of listens to wrap my head around. For my part the album highlight is the two part title track "Words That Go Unspoken" and "Intractable"; the tracks are a bit of a departure for the band, but these two songs capture so brilliantly the feeling of aristocratic Satanism that their image projects that I can't help but get sucked into their world. When "Intractable" reaches the climax with:

Your cards on the table,
No chance!

I always win.
My anger will always prevail,
I always win,
And I always will.

It is the perfect combination of powerful riffing, incredible atmosphere and evocative lyrics that makes you proud to be a card carrying member of the metal club. As has become the tradition with Akercocke albums, the disc closes off with the mellow "Lex Talionis", its calm acoustics and laid back drumming perfectly complementing the calm and melodic vocal delivery, and giving you a chance to lay back and sleep off the perversions against mankind that you just spent the previous 44 or so minutes raging through.

The Production on Words… is very clean – a little too clean perhaps as this is a long way from the filthy, throat slashing evil sound on Choronzon. The guitars are crisp and clean, and while very heavy, are also very polished. The bass is present to exactly the required degree giving the album a very full sound without getting in the way (nor doing anything truly remarkable either). The drums of David Gray are a bit muddy with a notably quiet snare. It is sometimes very difficult to pick out the snare, especially when the bass and toms start rolling around, and it can be difficult to gage the intended tempo of the music (most notably at the start of "Shelter From the Sand"), but there can be no doubting his performance – it is a lesson in Black and Death Metal drumming. It is impossible to discuss Akercocke without mention of Jason Mendonça, guitarist and vocalist. He is completely inhuman in all aspects of his delivery; vulgar guttural growls, bellicose death growls, ear piercing blackened screeching (no shit, his screeches are beyond this world), and a clean vocal style that projects an air of superior English aristocracy. These styles interchange frequently, and are often overlaid over each other, and the effect is just stunning.

Words that Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone is pretty close to a modern masterpiece of extreme metal. Lyrically, musically and image-wise Akercocke pull off an album that simply drips atmosphere, dragging you into a world of Crowley-an Satanism and fevered, drug induced sexual perversion. With plenty to offer both veterans and newbies there really is no excuse not to have this disc in your collection – grab it now!

Other related information on the site
Review: Antichrist (reviewed by Brett Buckle)
Review: Choronzon (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
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