Akercocke – Renaissance In Extremis Deluxe Media Book and Vinyl Review
One of my most anticipated albums dropped near the end of August: Renaissance In Extremis from the recently activated death/black/prog metal band, Ackercocke!
Akercocke’s last album, Antichrist, came out in 2007 and the band went on hiatus/broke up in 2012 after not being active for a while. Drummer David Gray kept busy in the band Voices and The Antichrist Imperium. The band surprisingly reformed in 2016 announcing some concert dates and then revealing later a new album was coming.
This was all awesome news to me because, if you’ve read any of my past New Music features, you’ll know I really like the band a lot and I only really got into them at the end of 2015/early 2016. You can see previous CDs and albums I’ve showcased by typing the band into the search feature on the main page.
This band passed me by just because I really never checked them out. I remember seeing them in Terrorizer magazine in their suits and thinking, “well that looks different.” That’s really as far as I got until Dave over at Mad Rush Media got a bunch of CDs in and I finally decided to stream some of the tunes and goddamn…the music was awesome. I immediately bought up the band’s catalogue and have immersed myself with their music over the last two years.
Before I go any further, I just want to make it clear that I am not writing this on behalf of the band or Peaceville. I’m just a fan that thought making a quick feature on this release to showcase it for the fans who haven’t bought these items yet would be a cool idea. I didn’t want to lump both in with my next New Music feature.
This release came out as a CD, regular double vinyl, an earbook edition, and a limited red coloured double vinyl. I’m doing a quick look at the media book and the limited vinyl.
The earbook edition contains 3 CDs along within a large sized hardcover booklet. The first CD features the newest album while the second CD features rarities such as demos and cover versions. The third CD features the band’s live set in 1998 and some songs from 2002 and 2004.
The booklet contains many rare and never before seen photos of members of the band throughout their career. Jason Mendonça and David Gray are interviewed and give their story on the band’s humble beginnings to Antichrist, the break-up, reformation, and on the new album. They also comment on each of the band’s previous outputs. It’s quite an excellent read and really gives insight on the band and where they were at during various times in their career.
Double Red Vinyl
I showed you what both releases look like but I really haven’t talked about the music. I have to say, in a nutshell, it’s a front to back album and so worth the wait. I’ve spent a lot of time with the album and I’m still discovering stuff as I continue to let it all soak in. The band hasn’t lost a step. If anything, they put together their most diverse and interesting album ever.
I find this album really showcases the band’s more experimental prog side where various passages weave in and out of each other flawlessly. Melodic parts move in and out of full-on death metal and black metal attacks, with blasts that are used to accentuate the riffs and the songs rather than bludgeoning you just because Gray can do it. It all makes for a diverse and refreshing listen yet you have the familiarity of the Akercocke “brand” behind it all. Get this album, metal fans!
Here’s a quick video rundown where I flip through the book, give a bit more insight and you can see the inlay of the vinyl. Enjoy!