It shouldn’t be a surprise that US based black metal project Akhlys has some sort of ground swell with its second record The Dreaming I. First of all, the project’s creator Naas Alcameth also made waves last year with Season of Mist act Nightbringer and their 2014 record Ego Dominus Tuus. If one was left with any burning questions after Nightbringer’s record came to a close, Akhlys is here for an afterparty in the voids where nightmares and dreams spill into one.
If one was familiar with Nightbringer, Akhlys is not going to be the largest surprise. There is a vague occult theme which runs through each band like deep banners strung in a subterranean temples and the production is something which mimics cathedrals underground. With all of this said, Akhlys stands on its own even though it owes a lot of its inspiration to bands like Emperor, Blut Aus Nord, and Deathspell Omega. By “Consummation” and “The Dreaming Eye,” the album’s middle tracks which runs at 26 minutes, one is assured that this is a project that is very capable of destruction if not devastation. If one was ever lacking the essence of catatonic terror, The Dreaming I has the stuff packaged in bottles.
The Dreaming I is interesting because it fits into a larger trend of highly crafted and highly atmospheric black and death metal. From Dead Congregation to Behemoth, there seems to be an exploration of heavy metal’s descent into lush caverns which occasionally uncovers sacrificial altars. Both Nightbringer and Akhlys had their covers painted by the very talented David Herrerias which make the transition between the two seamless. The art on both is very indicative of the rich tapestry of sound contained within. Come only if you are interested and stay becasue the high council will never let you leave.