I’ve purchased a lot of CDs in the last few months in a desperate attempt to reach a respectable metal collection consisting of 666 albums. And in that rush to appease the forces of evil (who routinely check on everyone’s music collections like Santa checking his naughty/nice list), I have at times sacrificed quality at the altar of quantity.
Not that I knowingly buy bad discs. It’s just that I haven’t been doing the usual amount of research necessary to REALLY know if an album is worth picking up or not. I just go ahead and assume one or more of the following:
This approach has not turned out so well. As you’ll see from the following series of reviews, never assume. It sho’ ’nuff made an ass out of me.
This purchase resulted as a combination of assumptions 1 and 2. Being in the unhappy state of not finding any more Runemagick albums for sale at a reasonable price, I took a look at the “Similar Artists” tab on Metallum. They listed some shit I had, and some shit I didn’t. A few Youtube samples later and…boy, is this some shit I wish I still didn’t have.
Akem Manah sounds about as close to Runemagick as Primal Fear sounds to Immolation. Actually, that’s not the best analogy. Akem Manah is more the “look, I tied my shoes!” to Runemagick’s “look, I cured AIDS and won a breakdancing competition!” Akem are trying to replicate mid to late period Runetunes, in which an dark ceremonial vibe prevails. Nicky “Terror” Reindeer and Co. achieve this vibe through weird droning riffs, repeatedly chanted choruses, etc. Akem Manah does not achieve this vibe at all.
Why? They have the droning riffs, the repeatedly chanted choruses, bells ‘n rain sound effects, some samples about satanic molestation. All the ingredients are there, but the chefs suck. The riffs are bland beyond imagination, and the muted production job does not do ’em any favors. The drums are basically basic. Bass would likely be basic if I actually heard any. The vocals are downright fucken horrible. This guy’s growls are breathier than a heavy lady that ran up eight flights of stairs while reading the steamy part of a romance novel. He applies absolutely zero force to each endlessly repeated word. Speaking of Immolation, I’ve heard it said that Mr. Dolan “growl-purrs.” That may be an accurate statement. But at least the purrs are coming from a big cat. Here, we are talking malnourished kitten at best. To make things worse, Mr. Breathy repeats each chorus 500 times. Said choruses are usually, if not always, the title of the song. Very creative.
So yes, I didn’t like “The Devil is In All of You.” It is impossible to maintain focus during an entire song, and a feat beyond mortal imagining to sit through the entire album. The only reason I give it any points at all is because they are clearly trying to play doom/death in the mold of the elder gods, and because it isn’t the worst thing I’ve bought all summer. Still, I deeply dis-recommend it. The band’s name, by the way, reminds me of Habakuk doing a particularly enthusiastic Swartzenegger impression: “Ah, camaaaaaan, ah!”