Review | ΑΧΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ Transfigures Enchantingly on Malocchio-The Seven Tongues of Δαημων

            This new opus from ACHERONTAS somehow eluded my awareness upon release, and since I didn’t get to review 2020’s Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions, which was still included on my top album list for that year, it seems necessary to step back and gaze into its successor. These Greek adepts are revered for harnessing occult energies from a variety of dark angles, with Egyptian and shamanic designs being among their explored territories, and now the path has led to Malocchio-The Seven Tongues of Δαημων, where an intriguing transformation also sees the band continuing as ΑΧΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ. This native lingual variation signifies another shift in shadowy perception, but the underlying essence remains unmistakable as potent formulas haunt the invocatory hymns within. Distinct astral forces combine with the sinister allure of its heavy and melodic textures, along with other elements to conjure a characteristic aura, and a spirited metamorphosis is also observed while Malocchio-The Seven Tongues of Δαημων pursues a course toward higher attainment.

            Cavernous howls set the atmosphere during possessed invocations on “Lucifer – Breath of Fire,” and a rush of orchestrated wrath is conjured, with multiple overlapped vocal expressions advancing its chaos. This subsides to reveal an entrancing noted course, and a blast-beaten return comes with tremolo and riff currents to reignite a cold 90’s fury. The energy accumulates across a series of transitions, where marked arpeggiated notes conspire in timing with drum and vocal patterns, and heightened tremolo melodies also extend toward infinity when blasting resurges. Ethereal shapes emanate from a passage of interweaved melodic resonations, and grandiose levels are reached through a lead emerging among their multitude. Darkness rages ahead in dual tremolo layers and blasts on “Leviathan – The Fervent Scales In Reverence,” and that raw fury is compounded by an aptly harsh vocal execution. The vocals demonstrate a prominent influence and versatility throughout as the storm breaks for pulsing riffs and arpeggiations, which accommodate distant clean echoes amid the drift into a haunting mass, and ominous tones escalate in the riffing until intensity is reseized with icy strikes. Another intoxicating development is elevated alongside commanding words, and the immensity transfers to a slower trance on “Belial – The Enn of Beliya’al.” Eerie shades impose torment around chants reflecting altered consciousness, and disturbed intervallic strings persist after a grooving pace commences. Rhythmic diversity continues to unfold over its structures, along with the astral presence evoked in heavy and disembodied fret designs, and contorting voice effects finalize its infernal manifestation.

            The elements remain fully harnessed on “Satan – Exaltation of Unbeing,” with its grand melodic entry followed promptly by sinister frenzy, and slower percussive grooves integrate double bass while highlighting the vast distorted power beyond. Its menacing appeal is further enhanced with arpeggiations, and tremolo melodies also infuse an elevated layer within the mass. It gives way to majesty, but organ keys emerge to reflect a lingering burden among the melodies, and a union with death is sealed in evocative soloing before desolation takes hold on “Choronzon – Webs of Alienation.” A bleak-noted plane expands with grooves of escalating pace, and they advance to blasts alongside shadowy textures formed through complex tremolo and arpeggiated interplay. Vocals continue to echo these orchestrated tones as the track progresses into a void, and deranged string connections illustrate its madness on a path toward “Hecate – Queen of the Crossroads,” where horns and choirs herald epic formulas evolving from the dark. Sounds of a crackling fire and other instrumental features guide its atmosphere into “ΔΡΑΚΩΝ-Αpotheosis,” which possesses rhythmic and entrancing arrangements to distinguish a final destination, and a howling presence conveys this unbounded spectral dimension until the work merges with uncreation.

            Each hymn represents an independent venture through the essence of particular deific forces, and these are called upon and hailed along paths toward transcendent points. A devotional and elaborate poetic substance characterizes the lyrics, which direct focus to the “Resplendent bringer of dawn” on “Lucifer – Breath of Fire,” and creative origins are also referenced through “A perennial dance of Physis.” Other passages depict underlying forces in the universe, including “Condensations that travel through diastric tides” and “Elongations of ebony conceived through aeonic flux,” and wisdom is sought by summoning “The light that kills the lie.” Ritualistic imagery takes form on “Leviathan – The Fervent Scales in Reverence,” with “Symbols carved on a sword forged in Ophidian Sorcery,” and the “Names upon names of lesser gods” who are “Slaughtered and sacrificed in the name of the Ancients” offers another primeval ceremonial scene. Chakras are utilized “As the ram transforms the Anahata,” and calls to “Unite the synastries under my reptilian command” precede those to “Open wide the gates of Gomorrah” on “Belial – The Enn of Beliya’al.” This “Ruler of the Netherworlds, disperser of the foul” sees “The flock of the blind” led “To the edge of the heart deepening abyss” while an “Infinite course for the stars” is illuminated for “Those who are worthy of thy excellence,” and “With thy name on my lips I pass the Gates of Sitra Ahra” shows favor to the side opposing righteousness.

            Oblivion is the aim of “Satan – Exaltation of Unbeing,” since this creates an “Absence where the womb of all potential lies eternally,” and it extends “Beyond the strains of emanations” to “Lay waste on the footprints of being.” Calls to “Unlock the Saturnian gates” are fulfilled “As I scribe my own name in the black book of Death,” and the abyss follows on “Choronzon – Webs of Alienation,” with “The call of terrifying names” echoing across “Webs of the parallel universes.” Their “Magnificence and contemplation” continues while hearing “The terrible secrets in absurd languages unknown to me,” and “Fumes of a new Age so familiar and pure” lead to a journey through the “Womb of Gnosis” on “Hecate – Queen of the Crossroads.” This goddess opens “The gates for the macabre hunt” and is observed “Reaping the coming of the New Seals,” and other acts explore “The maps of hidden teachings” before “The culmination of the Inner Serpent” reveals “ΔΡΑΚΩΝ-Αpotheosis.” Here “The ascension of the Great Beast” uncovers “The passage beyond mortality,” and this transcendent state is aptly described as “The sweet journey of immortal and never-ending intoxication.” These passages highlight some of the notable events and symbolism of the texts, but many mysteries remain uncharted within, and those who delve further into their contents will encounter imagery and contemplative points that enhance the totality of this work.

            The name has evolved, and while a curiosity endures toward the factors surrounding this alteration, ΑΧΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ delivers a grimoire consistent with the material of past offerings. The energies of Malocchio-The Seven Tongues of Δαημων may strike at a level above the past couple efforts, however, with songcraft that continues to conjure heavy imposing masses while melodic layers intersect with labyrinthian detail, and a spectral appeal is enhanced by leadwork and epic culminations throughout. These developments are driven across dark grooving courses that flow along with others of frantic intensity, which are all further complemented by harsh and ritualistic vocal projections, and these elements are seamlessly harmonized to draw insight from chaos. ΑΧΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ masterfully conveys euphoric and transcendent states through their orchestrations, and the pantheon of Malocchio-The Seven Tongues of Δαημων, though similar in practice to previous works, also possesses individual qualities that transport the listener to those elevations.

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