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Akhenaten - The Emerald Tables Of Toth (2021) - Review

Band: Akhenaten
Album title: The Emerald Tables Of Toth
Release date: 30 April 2021
Label: Satanath Records
Genre: Black Metal, Death Metal, Middle Eastern Folk

01. Neferkapta's Tomb
02. Halls Of Ament
03. Of Emerald And Alchemy
04. A Hybrid Of The Gods
05. The Atlantean
06. Cult Of Kukulkan
07. The Black Land
08. Tabula Smaragdina
09. Priests Of The Jackal
10. Fall Of The Living Gods

Colorado's based duo Akhenaten released via Satanath Records their fourth album, The Emerald Tables Of Thot. This black/death metal duo formed by Wyatt Houseman on vocals and Jerred Houseman on all other instruments dedicate themselves to the mythology and mysticism of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The band's name, Akhenaten, is a tribute to the pharaoh Amenhotep IV who abandoned Egyptian polytheism and adopted the cult of Aten five years after the beginning of his reign. The band blend their black/death metal with Middle Eastern folk music, and as well many folk music instruments are skillfully added to their unique black/death style.

The Emerald Tables Of Toth is impressive, both in terms of musicality and its theme. The skill shown throughout the tracks is captivating, cohesive and makes Akhenaten the masters in this mix of styles. The album consists of ten songs that develop over 57 minutes and have a mysterious atmospheric texture. Usually with a medium rhythm but not losing the aggressiveness showed in the blast beats, guitar riffs and vocals. Wyatt intersperses between the characteristic high-pitched shout of black metal and the growls of death metal. All that becomes an epic soundscape with very intriguing lyrics. Everything that comes from Sumerian and Egyptian mythology has always been part of my passions. Before listening to the album, what made my curiosity sharpen was precisely the theme and art of the album, majestically produced by Wyatt Houseman.

Close your eyes and immerse yourself in the world of an ancient civilization filled with mysteries of life and death with "Neferkapta's Tomb". A track that transports you in time, to a hot and starry night, the fine sand and the night breeze caressing your skin and then the god will speak through Wyatt's incredible vocals, pure perfection. "Of Emerald And Alchemy", "Cult Of Kukulkan", "Tabula Smaragdina" and "Fall Of The Living Gods" are purely instrumental, engaging and dreamlike tracks that unfold majestically. Of these tracks, my favourites are "Tabula Smaragdina" and the final track "Fall Of The Living Gods". This type of composition and instrumental mastery is not common, repetitive or an imitation of Middle Eastern folk music. These tracks tell their own stories and are strategically placed among the others. "A Hybrid Of The Gods", my other favourite track, offers a great blessing to those that enjoy brawn, and the guitar amazingly makes the show. "The Black Land" and "Priests Of The Jackal" close my list of the top tracks of The Emerald Tables Of Toth.

What else to say about a perfect black/death album that dares to involve folk music in such a cohesive and original way? Nothing, because it would be redundant and massive. The Emerald Tables Of Toth is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the genre so far and I can bet that it will be the only one in the year 2021. If you still don't know Akhenaten, I suggest that in addition to this album, you spin the albums, Incantations Through The Gates Of Irkalla (2015) and Golden Serpent God (2018). Akhenaten's work could perfectly compose soundtracks of renowned films of Egyptian and even Sumerian mythology. If you are a fan of Nile, Absu, Melechesh, Septicflesh and Nokturnal Mortum, this album was specially composed for you. Enjoy the epic journey!

The review was written by Felin Frost
Rating: 9/10