Akatharta – Spiritus Immundus

After almost twenty years of gestation, this remarkable project conceived by Kam Lee, historic singer of the seminal Massacre, as well as involved in several other bands including The Grotesquery, in the company of another extreme metal stakhanovist as Rogga Johansson, finally finds its outlet. Just from this band is appropriate to start to define the sound of Akatharta: in fact, if already in occasion of the association with the Swedish guitarist was shown a propensity to a death by frequent slowdowns and inserted in a horror imaginary of Lovecraftian inspiration, put on his own Lee accentuates the doom component of the sound, while at a lyrical level the attention is moved to EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) and the possession by the pneuma akatharta (unclean spirits) of biblical memory. The result is an album of great compactness, developed on eight tracks (plus the cover of Dethroned Emperor of Celtic Frost) morbidly effective that find their apotheosis in magnificent tracks such as Pneumata, not coincidentally released previously as a single, and Nocturnal Interment, with its ritual evocation of the unclean spirit; the rest is not less and is expressed through a death doom well balanced between the two components, with the roughness and the impact of the first that flows naturally into the rhythmic bradycardic of the second. Kam Lee, then, is at wedding with this sound, being able to exhibit his growl that brings to school many of his younger emuli, well assisted by the valuable guitarist and bassist Aaron Whitsell (along with the vocalist also in the band that bears his name, as well as in Cropsy Maniac) and metronomic drummer Travis Ruvo (also in Cropsy Maniac, and Echelon). Spiritus Immundus turns out to be a work that should leave its mark in those who appreciate sounds between funeral and death doom more raw, finding myself only partially agree with the presentation notes when they are credited as possible references, Thergothon and Mournful Congregation, while I think at least misleading to mention My Dying Bride (there is no trace of the gothic and decadent romanticism of the English band) or even Skepticism (unlikely, if only for the absence of a basic instrument in the sound of the Finns as the organ). It’s much better to get your own idea of the content of the album by listening to it and, if you’re a doom fan, the appreciation will come naturally, because here the genre is performed by a group of experienced and sufficiently inspired musicians, able to handle anything but trivially the matter and giving it back in the form of a very heavy and oppressive tombstone.

2017 – Pulverised Records