Nechochwen – Heart of Akamon [US, Black / Folk] (2015)

Bindrune Records | 9-4-15

Birdrune Records | 9-4-15

Nechochwen is interesting for many reasons. First of all it takes a little bit just to pronounce their name correctly. Secondly, they are a black metal band who have whole heatedly thrown themselves into the plights and history of Native American lore. Thirdly, they take a folk approach to their music with acoustic instrumentals, war sounds, and searing black metal thrown into a fire. American folk metal is a long time coming and details are still being hammered and tinkered with.

Traveling hand in hand with Nechochwhen is a dizzying experience as the duo’s tendencey towardcs mandess is quite clear and palitable by the first few tracks. Not only do the guitar leads soar like eagles but the vocals are bare and quite clear through their strained gasp. This is unsettling at times and gives many instances of pause. I would be lying if I said things like the folk chant / pan flute solos in “October 6, 1813” was not well recieved at first. In fact, the entireley of Heart of Akamon is met with opposition just because it is so goddamn weird. These hesitations however are negated somewhat with the band’s ability to just pour emotion upon its listener.

As irregular as Heart of Akamon is, its existence is unpredictable which leads to an experience which is wild and exciting. Heavy metal, like any genre, can become congruent with its contemporaries especially when in a niche style. Nechochwen maybe within the black and folk genre but damned if I can think of anything which is similar. Perhaps a few but not for awhile. the band may have made something which is similar to the danger which stalked the landscape of the American frontier so many years ago.