Acheron
Rebirth: Metamorphosing into Godhood

Is this band really even relevant anymore? Somehow a band of cult status since 1988 despite a less than prolific album output (considering the length of time they’ve been around), not including hosts of compilations and underground rare recordings. Acheron is the very definition of a cult underground band. That being said , this is actually my first exposure to their recordings, so comparisons to other work is impossible, but I somehow expected a larger than life, legendary offering in line with their apparent god like status within underground circles. Instead, what I got was some very rudimentary, bland death metal that suddenly explains why Acheron was on JL America.

Of course, Rev. Vincent Crowley is the driving force behind Acheron’s satanic visage, being an ordained minister of Anton Lavey Church of Satan certainly gives Acherons dark musings some depth and credibility lyrically, but musically Crowley could use some other-worldly aid to bring his musical machinations close to the intellect of his occult knowledge. Still, sometimes by the numbers death metal has its place within the genre and those that either worship the style or indeed Satan, might enjoy this, but when the genre has been graced in the same time frame by the likes of Deicide and Morbid Angel already in a far more technical abrasive form, Acheron seem fairly musically timid despite their ordained mailman. On a positive note, I did enjoy the raw, atypical, under-produced sound Acheron delivers their mid paced throes with. The down-tuned, chugging, bass throbbing delivery is sort of earthy and robust, suiting the simplicity of the songs to an inverted T.

However, Acheron’s song writing though is still mired in mediocrity that explains the Moribund/JL America label connections rather than a bigger/better label; they just aren’t that good. Granted Crowley, aided by Incantation ‘s Kyle Severn and Mike Estes (no longer in the band) belt out some unusually lengthy Satanic diatribes, clocking in from 6 to 9 nine minutes, but with crude riffs and unvaried pacing, the songs drone and drag after some initial enjoyment. For example, the strong opening riff of ‘Golgotha’s Truth’, is plenty heavy and groovy, but for six minutes the pace is static and other than some overdrawn strangled solo and basic time changes, the fast forward button cries to be pressed after 4 minutes, and same goes for the rest of the albums songs. I expected far more hateful, scathing material from band whose ideology is steeped in hate for Christianity. The initial lethargic dirge of ‘Betrayed (A Broken Pact), borders on sluggish doom metal, and simply careens into some rock oblivion before a blastbeat attempts to revive an already lost song; its just not what I had envisioned for this band. Even Crowley’s gravelly death snarl is tempered and understandable, adding to the not quite so vicious aesthetic of the entire album. 

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the Church of Satan and having my next new born child thrown into the fires of hell, I just kind of get the impression the Satan Acheron is advocating is the Satan from South Park rather than the dark evil lord of the nether world and bane of Christendom. Look at the cover.

Rebirth has a couple of OK moments, but as a whole the album seems pretty needless in today’s scene, and when you sit through album closer ‘9th Gate’ not only will your dog hate you, but rather than conjure swirling images of demons and midnight rituals it just adds a grating end to an already underwhelming album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 6th, 2003

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