I remember when I first heard Akitsa back in 2001. It was the début album “Goétie”, which was well received by the listeners of underground Black Metal. The following year the Canadian musical act returned with “Sang nordique”, a release that I deeply admired at the time and still do. Following two great endeavours, “La grande infamie” and “Au crépuscule de l’espérance”, including many splits and EPs, this prolific and qualitative Canadian band now is back with their fifth full-length titled “Grands tyrans”.
“Grands tyrans” is dedicated to the soldiers of our gruelling, arduous era, to the ones that are wounded in battle and those that will pull as war heroes in the march to the eternal rest. Our age is doomed, ill-fated to degeneration, decadence and deviation. Whichever is your fights, your struggle, be aware that death will receive you with open arms, whether winning or losing. This is a rough translation of what the band has to say about this release.
The Canadian metal scene is, in my humble opinion, rich, varied and highly interesting. There are indeed so many interesting bands from this nation that it is impossible to mention all the worth ones. More classical or newer, the extreme metal scene in this country is to be respected and regarded as one of the best in a worldwide scale. And Akitsa is among the finest in the aforementioned scene. I was expecting with much anticipation a new work from them since they have not disappointed me in any musical form.
When it comes to “Grands tyrans”, I wholeheartedly believe that this is one of the most focused, diverse and fascinating releases from Akitsa. It features the haunting, creepy atmosphere, with a blend of punk and old school Black Metal as well as noise. All cooked with perfection, resulting in a hypnotic, primitive and dirty Black Metal album that feels compelling, honest and very cold. To judge this album by one single song is a sin, well, it’s not the ideal when it comes to most releases, but this one obliges you to listen to it as a whole entity, as the songs, although differ from each other, completes themselves.
The OI feeling is always present in “Grands tyrans” as well, giving it a catchy, but never cheesy aura. There is a nostalgic sentiment as well, creating a landscape of desolation and anguish, but sounding depressive, but rather restless, furious and bitter. As I listen to this work, I find mesmeric elements in this masterpiece of viciousness, much like the guitars in Chimères, for example. The vocals range from the raspy, raw shrieks to clean, but with a hardcorish, punkish approach. It indeed flows well, for those that are interested in lo-fi, experimental, but still maintaining a tight connection to the Black Metal roots. In my modest view, “Grands tyrans” is an album that can be considered one of the year’s best, filled with bleak emotions, outstanding views and a fresh breath of air in the Black Metal scenario.
As for the album’s production, it is a lo-fi release, sounding, as mentioned before, raw, dirty and abrasive, as stated by the band, they stayed on the four track. If this humble description fits your tastes, I urge you to check “Grands tyrans”, an amazing work. You can do it in a legal way, as I always ask of you, via Bandcamp. And if you enjoy what you heard, I beg of you, please, find a way to support and/ or promote Akitsa, as they truly deserve.
Until next time.
Album: Grands tyrans (2015)
Label: Hospital Productions
- Le feu de l’abîme
- Naufrage contemporain
- Les flots de l’enfer
- Grands tyrans
- Noire bête ailée
- Je n’y serai pas
Eric Syre (live member)
Rick Ouellet (live member)
Official Bandcamp: https://akitsa.bandcamp.com
All photos belong to their rightful owners.June 6, 2015