Despite the impressive two songs on Salem Orchid's self-titled demo, the members disappeared for years until reappearing later in London with a new moniker and sound. A mix of death and black metal, the band's moniker was inspired by the story of Faust with the band being vehemently Satanist. The English duo quickly gained notoriety through its sacrilegious debut's album cover which depicted the arse of a nun!
To the chagrin of many, the band performed live in black business suits! The band also received support from Cradle Of Filth founder and London promoter Ben Ryan.
The act signed to Earache Records in mid-2003. An album entitled Choronzon, worked with producer Neil Kernon, appeared in late 2003. The group turfed guitarist Paul Scanlan in late 2004 without providing an explanation. Earache re-issued Rape Of The Bastard Nazarene in 2005. The band was joined by former Berzerker guitarist Matt Wilcock in 2005. Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone was released in late 2005. A European tour with Blood Red Throne and Mortician was undertaken in November. When Mortician’s main man, Will Rahmer, was arrested in Poland for robbery Akercocke and Blood Red Throne members abetted the rest of Mortician on vocals and bass in order to conclude the tour. The show had to go on. Bassist Peter Theobalds left Atheband in early 2007. His replaced was Concept’s Peter Benjamin. The band picked Antichrist as the title for its next album, which was due on May 28th through Earache Records. The album was a concept. Peter Benjamin joined The Order Of Apollyon in 2009. In the winter of 2010 guitarist Matt Wilcock left Akercocke due to musical differences. The UK shows with Dark Funeral in March were his last contribution to the group. Akercocke was back and had recruited bassist Nathaniel Underwood and was working on a 2016 album called Renaissance In Extremis, which was due in late that year.
AKERCOCKE - CHORONZON - EARACHE
There is a little bit of everything on this CD, but not enough of anything. Can we coin the term schizo metal to describe this, er, band?
On its first CD for Earache Records, the English duo concoct a puree of sub-genres of metal poured onto on CD and issued with much hope and fanfare by the label. yet, to whom does this appeal? Choronzon, depending on the track, can be a Cradle Of Filth devotee, Deicide follower, Spiral Architect groupie, Tool-wanne be or any other metal band one cares to name. Predictably it is not all metal either. Elements of industrial music and keyboards permeate the band's work. For once one can agree with a label-issued band biography. In this case, the part that calls the band's work "challenging" could not have been any more apt.
Akercocke would have to abandon the synthesizers, ditch the drum machine and tighten up its plethora of approaches before becoming a serious metal band. Until then - which would incidentally render the band a new one - fans would have to either compromise with Akercocke or look elsewhere in order to get a full dose of what they want. - Ali "The Metallian"