Recently ACOD (FR) released their new full length album titled ‘Fourth Reign over Opacities and Beyond’ released by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions. After being teased with the video clip for their track ‘The Prophecy Of Agony’ released earlier this month, I was eagerly awaiting the full album. (video included within this review).
First things first, the sound. The production is great, with a solid mix and a lot of body (compliments to Fascination Street Studios). All elements have their own respected place within the mix and are distinguishable from each other. Due to the solid mix, the band members can shine, especially vocalist Malzareth is audibly pissed off!
During my first play through of the album, I had some mixed feelings. After the second spin, I might have found what got me those mixed feelings. So, let’s start with the ‘bad’ and get it over with. The opening of the album did not click for me. I found the intro generic and too long (3+ minutes). The second track was also not fulfilling, nor did it set the atmosphere demonstrated later on the album. Luckily, ‘The Prophecy of Agony’ managed to keep me invested and remain focused (I was starting to drift off).
By now I have listened to this track multiple times, and it’s just a banger! Catchy riffs, good melody and a soothing outro.
Right after said soothing outro, you get smacked in the face by a great blast beat powered tsunami of a riff kicking of ‘Sulfur Winds Ritual’ (we are back in the game!). The rest of the song was less powerful, but still solid. ‘Nekyia Catharsis’ on the other hand is a very fascinating song with some great riffs, diversity and created a unique atmosphere.
And then comes ‘Artes Obscurae’ which caught me off guard. What a great track! Dark, heavy, diverse and bombastic. Funny when you are listening to an album and already know that you found your favorite track of the album before finishing the rest of it. How do you follow up a track like that? Simply by another Dark, heavy and solid song! ‘Fourth Reign Over Opacities And Beyond’ is another banger.
‘Through The Astral Door’ serves a nice segway to the final track of the album titled ‘Empty Graves / Katabasis’ which is an adventure on its own. Starting off with Empty graves, which has a very Metalcore sounding vibe/chord progression. A chord progression/mix which I have heard multiple times on the album (not bad by itself!). Halfway through the song we delve into the Katabasis-part via a soothing, atmospheric and at times almost progressive transition. A great and melodic way to end the album. The final tracks are always the gems that most people miss, unfortunately. Kudos!
Overall this album has some great bangers but unfortunately a bad start (the start of an album is key). Looking past the first two tracks, you have pure quality and an interesting adventure with various elements. Both ‘The Prophecy of Agony’ & ‘Artes Obscurae’ will remain in my playlists for a long while!