Akercocke - Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone
Earache Records
Progressive Death Metal
10 songs (47:59)
Release year: 2005
Akercocke, Earache Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

One of those few bands that gets better with every album they make, Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone would be Akercocke’s finest were it not for the fact that 2007’s Antichrist upped the ante even more and proved that as good as near-perfection can be, there’s always something that can be done to raise the bar even more. It’s up to you which you prefer, really; Antichrist’s steps towards total experimental madness, or Words That Go Unspoken...’s more refined Prog-Death noir, going so far as to remove the trademark erotic artwork in favour of the band’s Victorian-Satanist style. I lean towards the former album myself, the promise of even greater forays into Avant-Garde territory keeping me awake at night, but there’s nothing wrong with choosing the latter, as Words... is a damn good album. A damn, damn good album. Each second of it is so refined, so tasteful a marriage of Prog and Death Metal that even now I find myself listening to it on repeat rather than getting on with the review.

Those few who followed Akercocke prior to this album were concerned due to a number of factors – long-term guitarist Paul Scanlan’s departure and label pressure in the ungodly form of Earache Records being just two reasons to doubt that the band could survive. Yet not only did the ’cocke recover quickly, recruiting former Berzerker Matt Wilcock on guitar and taking their music in a much more Tech-Death direction, they created an album that made them the talk of the scene. Creating a Prog Metal masterpiece without detracting from the Death Metal purity of their work one iota; really, with an opening track as downright kickass as Verdelet, there’s little chance of Words... having been treated with anything but with utmost respect. Mixing headbangable Death Metal riffs with a mid-point breakdown that introduces Jason Mendonça’s inimitable vocal acrobatics before ending in pure Black Metal (well, nearly pure) the track is the very last word in Prog-Death, doing the work of a ten-minute Opeth track in less than half the time and opening the album fantastically.

Without spending paragraphs on each song, something I’d love to do but something for which not enough space exists, our attention must turn to the ten-minute epic Shelter From The Sand. It’s undoubtedly the band’s masterpiece, mixing everyone from Deicide to Rush via Sonic Youth into a paragon of Prog, building from the initial torrent of Death Metal euphoria into a weird Stephen King-esque tale of social paranoia amidst big-city experimentalism (Grey’s lyrics as imagination-firing as ever: ‘this town is afraid of me with good reason/it has seen my true face’). Undoubtedly, it’s one of Akercocke’s finest moments, especially towards the end when the Prog takes over and the Post-Metal melodies form a tower fit to attack heaven from; the way that the following tracks continue this majestic assault is an extraordinary feat of songwriting, the epic Eyes Of The Dawn just one example.

Really, the songs throughout the album are stellar, the melancholic Intractable one of many memorable pieces, and the way that Akercocke mix the old-school Death of their roots with their new-found Prog impulses is a lesson to all. Other killer moments include the epic Deicide worship of Seduced, a throwback to The Goat Of Mendes’ majestic eeriness, Intractable’s melancholic dirge, and the full-on horror of the title track. Drummer extraordinaire David Grey continues his underrated percussive work, living up to his nickname (Blast Vader, for those not in the know) as well as proving his versatility and ability with each track – it’s him and Mendonça who are the spiritual leaders of the band, and their partnership will hopefully go on to create many a great album. Words... is vital for any fan of the band.

Killing Songs :
Verdelet, Seduced, Shelter From The Sand, Eyes Of The Dawn, Intractable
Goat quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Akercocke that we have reviewed:
Akercocke - Renaissance in Extremis reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Akercocke - Choronzon reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
Akercocke - The Goat Of Mendes reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Akercocke - Rape Of The Bastard Nazarene reviewed by Goat and quoted 58 / 100
Akercocke - Antichrist reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
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