Akhlys - Official Website

House Of The Black Geminus

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. The Mask Of Night-Speaking
2. Maze Of Phobetor
3. Through The Abyssal Door
4. Black Geminus
5. Sister Silence, Brother Sleep
6. Eye Of The Daemon - Daemon I

Review by Nekrist on July 8, 2024.

This is one of the reviews that I was most looking forward to doing this year. I wanted to wait until I had the courage and patience to be able to give my most meticulous and objective opinion on the new work by the contemporary black metal band named after the Greek night Goddess “Akhlys”. One of the most elite extreme metal manifestations in modern times, little by little they gained the respect and unconditional support of legions of fans around the globe, see their evolution from the groundbreaking The Dreaming I, passing for their previous works of the best Dark Ambient that I have heard in years, even with their successful effort Melinoë that catapulted them directly to the point of popularity and respect that they currently enjoy is fascinating.

When I saw that Akhlys had released the new single from the anticipated and then reviewed The House Of The Black Geminus, all my senses were coordinated to pay all my musical attention in the most meticulous and surgical way to be able to review the future work. Obviously the hype was very intense on my part, since I didn't know what to expect after two great albums. Would they be able to surpass or even equal the level of their previous works? That was the question that was on my mind just before listening to this album.

Before talking about the dark and ominous musical expression that The House Of The Black Geminus contains, I would like to talk a little about the main theme that is explored in said album. Kyle Spanswick, better known by his artistic pseudonym “Naas Alcameth”, is the architect and thinking mind behind alternative projects such as the Nightbringer collective, Aoratos and Bestia Arcana (my personal favorite after Akhlys), he spoke in podcasts dedicated to extreme metal such as “Iblis Manifestations” and “Into The Necrosphere” a very interesting concept that he demonized as “The Black House”, in this esoteric concept the “dwelling” or “home” is divided into habitable places and liminal places in which energetic charges accumulate. That allow beings from other planes to “take refuge” in those points that people do not usually frequent, such as an attic or an attic for example. Furthermore, the exploration of the so-called “Daemon” or “Shadow-self”, referring to the dark astral body, a concept explored by the father of modern psychology Carl Gustav Jung.

All this generated in me great expectations about Akhlys' new release, since for me the spiritual and lyrical charge within this style of music is extremely important, this North American project has talented musicians who accompany Naas to replicate his compositions live, the current lineup being made up of Naas on lead vocals and guitar, Nox Corvus in backing vocals and guitar and Eoghan behind the drums.

Now entering into musical matters, The House Of The Black Geminus is for me the perfection of all Naas's efforts in creating ethereal and extremely sinister music, managing to trap the listener with ghostly melodies, and managing to balance the ruthless aggression with very long passages. More atmospheric and slower, which were what in my opinion were missing in previous albums.

The album begins in an ominous and forceful way, 'The Mask Of Night-Speaking' opens triumphantly, with a ferocious drum performance that maintains a very high level of composition and execution throughout the entire album. The precision with which the blast beats are played while the guitars weave chaotic, desolate and even nostalgic landscapes (which surprised me), it is simply masterful. All the songs (except the eponymous ambient song) have Naas's typical formula of musically channeling his ideas, creating a tension that always breaks into a rush of adrenaline or "climax" that generates feelings of desperation and fear, just what that Naas had been seeking to express throughout his career, plus his voice remains as acidic and misanthropic as ever, although in my opinion in this record Naas achieved his best vocal performance of all his projects, giving screams that would make anyone's skin crawl if they have blood in their bodies.

As in all of Akhlys' works, purely atmospheric passages are mandatory, in this case the eponymous song fulfills said role satisfactorily, being monotonous but effective and very immersive, with layers of hymnotic sythetizers that submerge us, very comparable to the minimalist success by Burzum entitled “Rundgang Um Die Transzendentale Säule Der Singularität”. The two songs that were released as singles are distributed in the two halves of the album, both being triumphant anthems that exalt the album in their corresponding parts with an overwhelming sinister ferocity. 'Maze Of Phobetor' was my favorite, its sonic violence accompanied by sinister melodies.

But after the sonic assault suffered, the album takes on other unexpected nuances with a triumphant closing that shows another side of Akhlys, one much more evocative as well as brutal. 'Eye Of The Daemon - Daemon I' is a desolate song with a somber melody that will give chills to anyone who listens to it. It is a nostalgic goodbye to an album that for my personal taste dethroned great titans like Ulcerate or the sludgers Thou. Not only is it my favorite album of the year, but, as pretentious as it may sound, it is Akhlys' best album to date. Their sound matured greatly through the years of experience they acquired over time in the global extreme metal scene. In conclusion, this is the Magnum Opus of the Night Goddess.

Rating: 10 out of 10