Acheron - The Final Conflict: The Last Days of God (Ibex Moon)

Oh god. Oh god look at that cover art guys. Seriously, look at the fucking thing. There's a lot to be said about cover art sometimes, but in this case all you can really say is “oh god that is the dumbest shit ever. This music is going to be the biggest clichéd mess of satanic death metal since Deicide's shit period between Once Upon The Cross and finally leaving RoadRunner”.

And that's even before you find out that the band are not only Actual Practicing Satanists, but LaVeyan Satanists at that, and the vocalist – who goes by the name of Vincent bloody Crowley – used to be a reverend, not to mention the head of a "satanic youth group" called - wait for it - the Order of the Evil Eye!  Were they trying to make a comedy album and forgot the irony along the way or something?

However, it's the music we're here for, and it's thankfully a bit less pathetic than the band's info and cover art would suggest. 

Rather than the vicious and angry blasting death metal you might expect, after a rushed opening blastbeat (well, after the obligatory creepy intro, but who gives a shit about that?) it mellows out a little and for almost the entire rest of the album Acheron offers listeners a polished package of melodic Stockholm-style death metal, sounding a lot like Dismember or Unleashed would if they forgot how to write memorable, headbanging riffs. 

In fact, Unleashed seem to be a frequent reference point here. I Am Heathen, in particular, sounds like a carbon copy of anything from Unleashed's last few albums, but most of the songs on The Final Conflict: The Last Days of God (not quite, but close to the most needlessly convoluted titles I've seen recently – what was wrong with one or the other of the two halves?) have the sound of at least a little bit of Jonny Hedlund's viking posse about them.

The only bits where the band sounds in any way like it's not trying to be a more melodic version of an early-to-mid-90s Stockholm band are the blastbeats – which sound pretty generic – and the slower, doomier parts with horns in the background; and the heavier riffs, which are almost good.  But the riffs just aren't heavy enough, and the band is too timid with the mixing, keeping the guitars pushed forward at all times, so any experimentation like that is difficult to notice.  It's almost like the band don't want you realising that they had an original idea.

Acheron's The Final Conflict: The Last Days of God is out now on Ibex Moon.