Album Title: 
Decade Of Desecration
Release Date: 
Friday, June 22, 2018
Review Type: 

When Satan Maleficarium were put asleep, bass player Vixxer and screamer Necro decided to start a new outfit. Together with drummer Krilin and lead guitar player Cynic (Necro now does the rhythm guitars too), they formed Akelarre, which means something like ‘witches’ sabbath’ in the Basque language. This Mexican horde recorded some demonstrational recordings, and in their local scene, they gained a steamy live reputation. This eventually resulted in a live-EP, called Macabre Midnight Ritual, independently released. A first ‘big’ step, however, in this band’s career came in June 2011, when Akelarre recorded and released their first studio full length album, Grimorium Necrosis Magni. This resulted in an increasing popularity in their home country, and beyond. Unfortunately, things faded into painful silence, yet secretly the four-piece was preparing a follow-up to Grimorium Necrosis Magni. In Autumn 2016 the audience could finally try to get a copy of their sophomore album, for it was strictly limited (100 copies). Decade Of Desecration was released independently once again, being a new album with a bonus-CD, which included material from the past.

Enter 2018. Canadian Metal label PRC Music took the smart opportunity to re-release this sold-out and hard-to-find semi-classic. Part of their interesting Litha-batch (Summer Solstitium), the first disc from the original release has been made available again for the worldwide audience. It comes with quite explicit artwork (the original cover art), and the fifteen tracks last for almost one hour.

With Voices From Beyond, Decade Of Desecration starts very impressing: a slow-paced instrumental monster of death, a monumental wall with sharp riffs, thunderous rhythms and a wall of a sound. But that is nothing but an introduction for what’s more to come! As from Satan Leads Our Aberrations, Akelarre show their ugly, morbid face. In a devastating way, the band brings very technically executed yet truly massive, skull-crushing Death Metal. It is timeless in performance, yet with their fundaments deeply rooted within the Old School. This grinding madness is built upon fast and energetic, destructive rhythms (those double bass drums are just frenzy), melodic and well-crafted riffs and deep-gurgling, sulphuric, guttural grunts especially. Vocal-wise, there are some more blackened screams too, acid-laden and venomous, but besides this, and the lyrical theme (*) there are no direct links to the Black Metal scene. I would rather refer to the Grind / Grindeath scene, but that’s just a detail. And occasionally, you have those morbid Thrash-outbursts (cf. a piece like Osculo Infame). The material is very technical, with attention for changes in structure and tempo (**), and fierce, well-played solos and tremolo leads.

(*) the lyrics deal with blasphemy, demonism, occultism and the likes

(**) the better part varies from fast over ultra-fast to blasting fast, yet there are several mid-tempo excerpts, and even a couple of doom-laden chapters

The band lacks originality, at least I do mean that they do not invent hot water. But it does not mean that everything is predictable (though they make use of the known techniques). And in some way, they try to give everything an own twist, an own face. I guess they do succeed. Every single track has something that makes it interesting – not the very same stuff played over and over again – and seen the impressing length of the album, the variation and the high quality of song writing and performance are great things to notice. In addition, the few ‘extras’ too are worth mentioning: acoustic guitars (Decaying Paradise), choirs and whispers (Versvs Christvs Imprivm) etc…

I would certainly recommend this sonic filth to ‘fans’ of, let’s say, Belphegor, Arkhon Infaustus, Incantation, Azarath, Dead Congregation, Krisiun, or even Morbid Angel and Suffocation.