Akem Manah – The Testament Of Sealant Mound   Leave a comment

Akem Manah is the Avestan language name of Zoroastrianism’s demon of the “evil mind” or “evil purpose” or “evil thinking” or “evil intention”. “Manah” denotes a state of mind, and “akem manah” may thus be more accurately described as the state of mind (or being) that prevents an individual from accomplishing his moral duties. Its also the name of this band from Belgium and don’t get this band confused with the other Akem Manah who come from Portland, U.S.A. I don’t much about this band at all except they are fairly new as they have only been in existence for about three years. From what I have read and I can’t confirm this at all but the band went straight to recording this album without any prior demos or experience in the studio, how true this is I do not know but if it is indeed factual, it would explain a lot. This album has horrible production, the worst I have heard all year and I will get this negative stuff out of the way now. The sound is thin and weak, the drums sound more like someone hitting pots and pans and the guitars sound like they haven’t been mixed at all and there is nothing wrong with having a live sound but this sounds like they are plugged directly into mixing desk. I read the band decided to mix & produced this themselves and this decision might come back to haunt them in the years to come. But now the good news…

This band produce some quality horror-themed Doom Metal here, nothing wrong with their songwriting talents at all. The horror themes used here are not your usual cheesy zombie or chainsaw massacre type stuff, they are gripping tales of depressing horror most likely inspired by HP Lovecraft and Poe, nothing original there but this is done with an element of class on this album with the interesting title of “The Testament of Sealant Mound”. The band plays a blend of Death/Gothic Doom and Funeral Doom but this album is very diverse with a lot of different elements interweaving within the songs. Vocalist is from the band Voidwork and he has a great voice for doom as he does a good job of setting up the atmosphere for each track. The other musicians are also very capable of a finely crafted doom-riff but like I previously mentioned its destroyed by the weak production. Songs like “Dead For Days” reminds me of a darker, more solemn version of My Dying Bride while at the other end of the spectrum you have a more Prog-funeral doom thing happening in “Pandora”. This track is a major highlight with both lead and bass work coming to the forefront of the music. “Sacrilegious Ceremonies” has an Oriental ring to it and “Dark Millennium” has some killer moments but its effect is limited again by the weak production which ruins what could have been a great track.

Song-wise, this is a very good album and it has a wide varied approach that fans from everyone from Opeth to Ahab to My Dying Bride should appreciate. There is not such thing on the album as monotonous, plodding Doom Metal, its all varied and at times exciting. I hate to come back to the production woes yet again but its quite frankly destroyed what could have been one of the albums of the year, maybe if your were a Norwegian Black Metal band you could get away with production like this but for Doom Metal, it falls way below average and its a real shame. This album needs to be re-recorded to realize its full potential, I will try and ignore the production as much as possible and continue to enjoy the positive elements this album has to offer but its hard to rank this album that high the way it is……6/10
Akem Manah Myspace
Official Site

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Posted October 15, 2010 by doommantia in Akem Manah

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