Akercocke

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Akercocke
Akercocke @ Damnation Festival 2009 Matt Wilcock.jpg
Guitarist Matt Wilcock with Akercocke at Damnation Festival 2009
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Blackened death metal, progressive death metal
Years active 1997–2012
Labels Goat of Mendes, Peaceville, Earache
Past members Jason Mendonça
David Gray
Peter Benjamin
Daniel Knight
Paul Scanlan
"The Ritz"
Peter Theobalds
Matt Wilcock

Akercocke was an English progressive blackened death metal band from London, England. They take their name from a talking monkey in Robert Nye's interpretation of the Faust legend, and were notable for their heavily Satanic and sexual lyrical content.

The band have been officially announced as broken up since 2012.

Biography[edit]

Formation[edit]

Akercocke was formed in 1997 by guitarist and sound programmer Jason Mendonca (ex-Salem Orchid and Disciples of Belial) and his one-time Salem Orchid colleague drummer David Gray. The band was soon completed by the addition of second guitarist Paul Scanlan (ex-Creaming Jesus) and bassist Peter Theobalds.[citation needed]

Rape of the Bastard Nazarene to Words That Go Unspoken (1999–2007)[edit]

Akercocke's first album, Rape of the Bastard Nazarene, was self-released by the band in 1999. The album was met with enough success to get Akercocke signed to the underground metal label Peaceville Records.

Their debut release for the new company was 2001's The Goat of Mendes, previously released on the band's own Goat of Mendes label.

2003 saw the release of Choronzon, on Earache Records. The band embarked on an exhaustive tour of the US to promote the album, and promptly sacked guitarist Paul Scanlan upon their return.[citation needed] He was replaced by Matt Wilcock, formerly of Australian metal band The Berzerker.

Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone was released in October 2005. To promote the album, Akercocke went on tour with Mortician and Blood Red Throne through Europe. Prior to this, they had played four shows in Britain to promote the new album, supported by fellow British death metallers Ted Maul. A music video for "Intractable" was filmed in August 2006, but was later abandoned during post-production. It was filmed in strip club in London's Soho district. A documentary film of the same name as the album was included in a Special Edition CD-DVD of the album.

On 18 January 2007, Peter Theobalds left the band, citing personal differences.[citation needed] He was replaced by Peter Benjamin of the band Corpsing.

Release of Antichrist and controversy[edit]

Akercocke released their fifth and final album, Antichrist, in May 2007; their last album on the Earache label, as they were only contracted to them for three albums. A music video was released for the song "Axiom", directed by Erica Herbert of HSI London, and deemed "a unique and beautiful visual outing" by Jason Mendonca.[1]

Antichrist's album release was allegedly met with controversy from Christian groups,[citation needed] mostly notably in the United States, where a printing plant was alleged to have refused to print the album's inlay booklet because of its "Satanic materials", according to an Earache Records representative.[citation needed] Jason Mendonca commented that he didn't find the booklet "overtly anti-Christian", despite the title Antichrist, and that their refusal to print it was "really ugly" and "smacks of fascism to me."[2]

The band also generated controversy in Northern Ireland when they scheduled a tour date in Belfast on 18 May 2007, and appeared on BBC1's debate show Nolan Live on 16 May 2007 to defend their right to play the gig.[3] On that show they came under fire from Christian groups who alleged they were spreading a dangerous message to Northern Ireland's youth.[citation needed]

Recent activity and Breakup[edit]

The band were notably inactive/Semi-active for a long period of time following the touring cycle of 'Antichrist', rarely giving updates on band activity and performing fewer live shows.

On 4 August 2007, the band played a special 10th Anniversary Concert at the Underworld in London, which was supposedly filmed for a live CD/DVD, but this release was later cancelled due to production issues. A sixth Full-length studio album was also planned but later abandoned.

Matt Wilcock left the band in 2010, citing musical differences. He continues to play in new project The Antichrist Imperium, which also features David Gray.

Before having split up officially in 2012, they played two shows in France and Norway in 2011. David Gray and Peter Benjamin formed the band 'Voices' in 2012, and went on to release their debut album 'From The Human Forest Create A Fuge Of Imaginary Rain' in March 2013. Mendonca is now married with a family.

Musical style[edit]

Akercocke's sound is classified as blackened death metal, which takes influence from both black metal and death metal.[4] In early years, the band incorporated a large influence from goth rock in their sound as well (most notable in songs like "Margurite & Gretchen" or "A Skin for Dancing In"), with clean vocals, keyboards, and an all-around darker atmosphere. However, later albums showed the band shift towards a more progressive-oriented direction, while still retaining some gothic elements.

Members[edit]

Most Recent Lineup[edit]

  • Jason Mendonça – vocals, guitar (1997-2012)
  • David Gray – drums (1997-2012)
  • Peter Benjamin – bass guitar (2007-2012)
  • Daniel Knight – guitar (2011-2012)
  • Sam Loynes – keyboards (live)

Former members[edit]

  • Paul Scanlan – guitar (1997–2003)
  • Martin Bonsoir - keyboards (1997-2003)
  • Daniel "The Ritz" Reeves – keyboards (2003–2006)
  • Peter Theobalds – bass guitar (1997–2007)
  • Matt Wilcock – guitar (2004–2010)

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

References[edit]