Sunday, August 5, 2012

Akem Manah - "Night Of The Black Moon"

Akem Manah are a 3-piece Death/Doom band from Eugene,OR. Here we are presented with their 8 song offering "Night Of The Black Moon" released via Freak Metal Records. Akem Manah mix super slow, funeral dirge type riffing with haunting keyboard passages and super low death metal growls to create an almost ritualistic vibe for every track on "Night Of The Black Moon". "Black Moon" opens this disk with tons of droning sludginess. Epic riffs slowly grind away and seemlessly flow into each other, while evil death growls create an inexplicably creepy aura. From looming verse to stomping chorus, this song sets the pace and mood for the entire album and let's the listener know that we are in for a slow, methodical ride to hell. "The Dead Man's Heart" crawls along at an almost Candlemass type pace with it's hypnotic and catchy verse. The lyrics here draw inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's classic "Tell Tale Heart", and honestly after hearing this song I'll never be able to read that story again without hearing these riffs in my head. A perfect fit to a perfect horror story for sure. Served up next is Akem Manah's version of the Electric Wizard classic "Return To...Funeralopolis" from the Dopethrone album. This version is a bit slower and alot darker. Dead Nedry's growls from hell make this song even heavier than the original if that's at all possible. Doom purists will especially enjoy this tribute to one of the genre's defining bands. "Witches Ride" rages along with an almost Crowbar/Eyehategod feel to it. This 3:52 tune is not only the shortest song on the release but also boasts alot of noticable "NOLA" influence and is the perfect precursor to the 10:27 doom-fueled audio journey that is "The Dark Hours". Once again Nedry's deadly vocals provide the centerpiece for this epic full of Tony Iommi worshipping verse and chorus riffs. The haunting keyboard sends constant, chilling passages throughout and the militant stomp of the drums never lets up. Akem Manah are far from a happy, upbeat stoner band. This is cold, raw, haunting doom metal at it's most rotten and ugliest, and quite honestly is a breath of fresh air for the genre in general. "This Tortured Soul" slowly limps along for over 9 minutes and is chock full of slick guitar wizardry reminiscent of classic Black Sabbath and Paradise Lost. The lyrical theme here dealing with eternal torment in hell by the hands of Satan himself. Bringing the album to a close "End Of Days" is a gloomy, organ and guitar driven interlude that melts into the album's last and most epic track "Into The Darkness". For this reviewer, this track in particular defines the album's overall theme and the sound and style of the band itself as well. The muddy riffs here ooze with a blackened hellishness that is really incomparable to any other band. It's hard to keep a listener compelled for 20 straight minutes, but there's nothing boring here. Akem Manah serve up what could be a theme song to any classic occult horror flick from the Hammer era. Invoking dark, shadowy imagery, you can almost hear a cemetery gate creek open on a cold winter night, and feel the shovel-fulls of dirt drop down on you while this track slowly, but steadily moves along like a giant rusty wheel in motion. Fans of doom, death and horror related metal will find themselves enamoured with Akem Manah and their "Night Of The Black Moon" release. Picture Acid Witch but with slower, longer tunes and more of a classic doom metal influence and you'd have somewhat of an idea of what Akem Manah serve up...actually I'd love to see Acid Witch and Akem Manah tour together!(a guy can dream right?!). But dont take my word for it, go find Akem Manah on facebook and hit that "Like" button and listen for yourselves. You can find "Night Of The Black Moon" on CD Baby as well as Amazon along with a couple of the bands past releases, so go grab some CD's and make this awesome band part of your Metal collection!!! You can also hear cuts from this disk Monday nights from 7pm to 10pm on Akem Manah recently finished studio work on a brand new EP slated for an October release and which will feature drum work from former White Zombie drummer Ivan DePrume so keep your eyes peeled!!!

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