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Akitsa – Devenir Le Diable

akitsa – devenir le diable


In their almost quarter of a century of existence, the band was formed in 1999, Akitsa have amassed a pretty hefty discography, but given its impenetrable sound, it will never be able to win the approval of the average Black Metal fan, those who like their Black Metal smooth, accessible and melodic are better off walking a few blocks and visiting the mainstream record store to buy the latest Watain… Akitsa’s newest, ‘Devenir Le Diable’, however, is another album where the true fan will be eager to lick their fingers.

The most remarkable thing about this new album, without having heard any note yet, is that it has been released on their old home turf: Hospital Productions. Their previous work, ‘Credo’, was released on the much larger Profound Lore Records label, but apparently that collaboration was short-lived and the gentlemen have returned to their comfortable home turf. But although the band briefly changed stables, musically not a whole lot has changed, neither on the Profound Lore outing nor on this latest work…

From the beginning of their days, Akitsa have had a sound that can vary a bit from album to album or even song to song. And it is in that same tradition that ‘Devenir Le Diable’ also ventures. Although the basis is still the impervious wasteland of rawness and the Punk influences are still omnipresent, slow and almost atmospheric songs are served up like ‘Caveaux Poussiéreux’ whose protracted pace, repetitive riffs and drums together with the hallucinatory melodies give a true hypnotic effect, or ‘Lames de L’enfer’ in which the Folky spirit of Isengard clearly haunts. Raw, atmospheric, punky or folky, it all fits into the raw mix that Akitsa has been pouring over us for over two decades.

Although the genre-defining Ildjarn will always serve as one of the main points of reference, after those 25 years we can confidently say that Akitsa is a phenomenon in its own right, never substantially changed, averse to trends and extremely stubborn in its minimalist approach to the Black Metal genre. And in that light, ‘Devenir Le Diable’ is a new high point in both the band’s discography as well as in that small niche genre in which the band operates.

The ultra-stripped down and minimalist way of creating music is something that has earned the band a solid but always somewhat controversial status in the underground, ‘Devenir Le Diable’ is another album that seals that position. Ultimately raw and pure, of which the beauty only unfolds when you make the effort to really commit to that discomfort and surrender to it. That is the true magic of art, though in this case possibly only reserved for those who dare.