Archives of the Dead part XVI: ACHERON - Alla Xul (GUTTED Records - 7"EP 1992)
Line up: Vincent Crowley (vocals, bass), Tony Blakk (guitars), Mike Browning (drums), Vincent Breeding (guitars)
Recorded in November 1992, at Audio Lab Recording Studio in Tampa, FL, USA.
This was always a very special band… and you can think what you want, agree or not, but Acheron surely belongs to the best and most respectful US death / black metal bands. You may also have some mixed feelings about their ideological matters, about the strong bond with the La Vey’s Church of Satan and satanic imagery, who cares. The most important is that Acheron delivered some seriously crushing albums and Vincent Crowley still is a beast of a musician / vocalist. Acheron has very characteristic style and sound; one which impresses me a lot, so I return to their records quite often. Here I will write couple of sentences about their early 7”EP “Alla Xul”, released on Gutted Records in 1992, which is maybe little known, as it’s just quite rare, but damn, what a nice material it contains.
Only two songs here, but both are classic Acheron jewels. The band was always characterized with their own style, built upon usually heavy and slow (but not always!) and kind of hypnotizing riffing, creating the atmosphere of evil and obscure, especially when the killer voice of Vincent Crowley screams the lyrics, what feels like he’s a commanding preacher or a beast, dictating his blasphemies and prayers straight from hell! This is something what makes Acheron an extraordinary band and their music a ritual. You hear a short fragment and you just know it’s them! It’s a style, which no other band ever had. Both “Alla Xul” and “One With Darkness” are extremely brilliant anthems; both are heavy and obscure, but kind of memorable at the same time. Both have simply awesome riffs, but “One With Darkness” is especially worth being mentioned here, what a fantastic song (also known from “Rites of the Black Mass” classic album!), what a crushing atmosphere, what a brilliant performance! “Alla Xul” on the other hand is slightly faster, but both are surely insanely powerful and majestic pieces of blackened death metal. It’s worth also to say that the production of this EP is simply spotless, so great, clean, but raw and mighty! Damn, I just consider such songs as some of the most crushing pieces in the history of extreme metal music. And damn, Acheron still feels a bit underrated, but it’s a huge mistake if you never heard their mighty opuses. “Alla Xul” is rare, but ultra amazing piece. Close to perfection, if you ask me.
Final rate: 95/100