Make what you will of black metal, but there's very little doubt that its spiritual center is as genuine as it is illusory. Bands on either side of the spectrum use black metal and its constituent sacred parts to project reality, whether attenuated for showbiz purposes or invigorated for daily life. For Greece-based Acherontas, it would seem as if black metal, as a genre, is secondary to the devotional aspects of what drives, inspires, and fulfills their physical and incorporeal beings. This feeling, as it were, goes all the way back to 2007, when Acherontas formed out of the controversially named Stutthof (hey, Treblinka also caught plenty of flack before morphing into Tiamat in '89). From the group's debut album, Tat Tvam Asi (Universal Omniscience), through new album, Amarta (Formulas of Reptilian Unification Part II), the Greeks have found strength in the extramundane, which provided and continues to provide a stygian platform upon which they'll continue to develop, diversify, and proliferate.
To wit, says guitarist/vocalist Acherontas V.Priest (in 2013): "We have always been restless as a band and as individuals. Evolution is an ever going process for a serious individual. Stillness is a form of Death and proud we declare that the Death in every form is an enemy. We have made our task easier in practical terms maybe, but as the standards are always set higher, the effort is growing. This is the real meaning of progress for us, we will never lay comfort to what we’ve done and just repeat our past moves. Stagnation leads only to destruction. Our task is to proceed further and chase perfection, not by vanity, but by lust for evolution. The Flame of Inspiration is burning strong within us and we always strive to push the boundaries further to fulfill our musical and spiritual tasks."
New album, Amarta (Formulas of Reptilian Unification Part II), represents that statement. It proves out that Acherontas V.Priest's vision wasn't a one-off or bullshit. The Greeks are living by their words. Acherontas in 2017 isn't any different from when it started in 2007, a decade ago. At least the outlook. Musically, they've grown more malign, more desperate to invoke the powers of the abyss through rituals of humming guitars, blasting drums, and horrifying vocals. This was Acherontas. This is Amarta (Formulas of Reptilian Unification Part II).
So, bring on Acherontas. Let the frightful longhorns of bygone Hellas resound!
** Acherontas' new album, Amarta (Formulas of Reptilian Unification Part II), is out May 31, 2017 on World Terror Committee Productions. Pre-orders are not yet available, but the label has plenty of Acherontas in stock for the spiritualized and non-believer alike. Click HERE.