Akroma – Apocalypse (Requiem) (2017)

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Hailing from France, today we have Symphonic/Progressive Black Metal outfit Akroma and their fourth full-length release titled “Apocalypse (Requiem)”. Delivering over 40 minutes of intricate music and catchy melodic passages, the band spends most of the release trying to overcome their terrible singer. Luckily for the band, their music and other vocal arrangements are good enough to not fully bring down such an interesting release.

Opening with “Kyrie” we get that old-school Symphonic Black Metal vibe from the late 90’s and all things seem to be on track for a great album. However, the mixture of shrieks/Heavy Metal-styled vocals come on and they are downright horrendous and painful to listen to. Imagine a mixture of King Diamond and Dani Filth having a very bad vocal day and magnify it by 10x. While the growls and female vocals are pretty good and well fitting, sometimes is pretty hard to zone out the bad ones as you can hear on the awesomely proggy “Offertorium”.

Moving on from the vocals, the band does a great job in creating lush atmospheric foundations like on “Sanctus” and the more dramatic “Agnus Dei”. Using legendary drummer Dirk Verbeuren gives this album that extra kick needed for songs to sound super tight like on our personal favorite “Agnus Dei” and the playful “Lux Aeterna”. Matthieu Morand does a great job handling the guitars, keyboards, and orchestrations as this release is quite well crafted and very engaging.

Closing with “In Paradisum”, the band leaves on a high note featuring lush atmospheric arrangements and very direct and old-school riffs. Songs like this are what brought us to the genre back in its early days and it is quite refreshing to hear a band bringing this style back. Overall, Akroma is a solid band and would do a lot better if they changed vocalists. While the growls and female vocals are great, the rest are just painful and hard to ignore. If you are into bands like Limbonic Art, Tartaros and Carach Angren, you definitely enjoy this album.

Band: Akroma Album: Apocalypse (Requiem)

Label: Fantai'Zic Productions

Release: May 12th, 2017

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Genre: Symphonic/Progressive Black Metal

Country: France

Rating: 82/100
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