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Album Review: Akilla - The Gods Have Spoken

Review by Sheri Bicheno

Haililng from the regions of Suffolk and Norfolk, Melo-Death newcomers Akilla have quietly but surely been brewing to release The Gods Have Spoken for some time….

And it’s now time for it’s wings to be spread.

Let me be clear… as we already had a peek at what’s to come after single Serpent and the Son was released, we could already tell that we’d be taken on a complete and utter experience full of emotion, intensity and stunning musicianship.

So… here we go…

The introductory Winds of Winter settles us into the album with a few seconds of ambient dark folk vibes before a tirade of heavy riffs carries us into a stunning atmospheric wave of riffs and synths.

Straight off the bat, we’re introduced to Ross Wilson’s vocals on this album with gutturals from fathoms below that blend with the stunningly cosmic levels of melodic death ambience running through this track.

Second track is the first single released from the album, the notable Serpent and the Son pummels in first with the choppy maddening riffs from David Hill adjacent to Ross’s strings, showcasing an immensity of how these two work so well together. Kathryn Hailes who is Akilla’s most recent addition wields her bass tones so beautifully here to provide the backbone of tone under the mood of the guitars. This track is absolutely stunning - it takes us down a rabbit hole of furocity but with twists of heartstopping emotion with the blend of melodics and cosmic vibes.

It’s no wonder this was chosen for the first single of the album.

Queen of Heaven starts as a blend of unpredictable riffing and here, is where i really feel that Ginger Taylor’s skills can really start to be heard. He wields the kit with paramount skill - twists of blast beats and subtle flickering of the cymbals amongst groove infused kicks and ambient heaviness thumping to the more atmospheric notes that weave in and out of the track, he commands the pace of this gorgeous song and works so well with David’s winding melodics of the strings before Song of the Seafarers comes along and gives a much more upbeat turn of events. The headbanging riffs and beats amongst the subtle synths in this fourth track delivers a pirate-esque vibe to the Melo-Death entity that surrounds it. “Row. Row. Row. Row. Save your dead souls…”

Give me a visionary of a boat lost in a sea storm with some damned and hopeless lives on board, escaping the clutches of the raging Sea and her Leviathans…. before capsizing into an ocean of shimmering calmness, the beautiful unknown, sinking down into the harmonies singing out from Ross and David’s strings.

Blood and Bone and Cosmica respectively introduces more of the brutal side of Akilla with the choppy heaviness of guitars and Ross’s bone shattering vocals. The vibe in Blood and Bone bathes in melancholy as the mid-tempo pace and additional fuel of Kaths’s basswork commands the stride of the track whilst Cosmica exhibits another stunning display of Ginger’s exceptional kitwork that ranges between styles to show why Akilla are not just championing the elements of Melo-Death.

Title track The Gods Have Spoken explores some stunning but brutal elements of intense riffing and uplifting harmonies that allow the space taken for Ross’s growls to be almost as more colossal, varying, and striking than in the previous tracks. This track encapsulates the album so far with all the visuals that ambient and atmospherics bring. A rollercoaster of emotions and a journey into some breathtaking musicianship before we’re taken into last track Echo.

Here, is the surprise of the album. A sombre beginning and totally encapsulating intro of gentle waves of emotionally charged strings that sweeps into a heartbreaking and blistering crash of riffs and beats into a vortex of visuals that oversee snowy mountains, moonlit skies and raging seas. This is by far one of the best album releases of this year… If you like bands such as Insomnium but with more stunning solos and guitar work that shines amongst crushing and totally stunning vocals, The Gods Have Spoken is an album that needs to be on loop.

My heart has gone bang.

Ross Wilson Vocals, Guitars

Dave Hill Guitars

Kathryn Hailes Bass

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01 giu 2023
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