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Akitsa – Goétie [Re-Release]

akitsa – goétie [re-release]


‘Goétie’ is the debut album by Quebec anti-modernists Akitsa, originally it was released back in 2001 on a tape, and re-released in a digipak version in 2016. It is pure Lo-Fi/Raw Black Metal if ever there was one. The record is obscenely dirty and raw as befits this style, as the saying is, it was recorded wretchedly, but from a pure heart.

The musicianship sounds really loose: already the first piece ‘Ouverture de l’esprit’ impudently demonstrates hesitations in guitar playing and slight dissonances – not the intentional effects of late avant-gardists/experimentalists, just wrongly played notes. And an obviously detuned acoustic guitar is used in the bonus ‘Dans les profondeurs des bois oubliés’, – this is some kind of nightmare, really. Tremolos are indistinct and mushy, some squishy, and of course you can hear string rattling. If solos come across here, they are also indistinct and mostly in a punkish manner.

Most of the songs are built on one riff, which most often turns out to be the most banal. Well, on two riffs. If only in the minimalistic ‘Hiérarchie’ alone you can hear an abrupt transition to a tremolo-picked riff over a blast beat – a rare, even unique move for this album. Although already the second ‘Haine et vengeance’ includes blast beat battering, the songs on the album are mainly groovy mid-paced, usually with the unbearably punkish (of course) attitude.

As for the vocals, yes, they are the most diverse: both rough rasping and strained wheezing, also vicious strained, then, of course, high pitched squealing vocals, and, well, indistinct yelling. There are also attempts to sing with a clear voice – without any tricks and musical notation especially, just in a punkish way. In addition, some intricate effects are applied to the vocals sometimes.

‘Revanche’ can be singled out of the album, it’s a very atmospheric piece, the rhythm and lead pound together the same riff obstinately for a long time, and the latter even decides to improvise, however, without a decent success. In its turn ‘Les ruines de la modernité’ is almost a funeral march, on the verge of Depressive Black Metal, especially considering the vocalist’s screeching, this piece ends with unimaginable noise and crackling, almost like power electronics.

The bonus ‘Nuit solsticiale’ is very Burzum-esque, but punkish at the same time, yep, the rhythm is almost in the vein of Grishnackh, while the lead is purely punkish. ‘Pendaison de l’humanité’ is also a slow tragic piece, very heartfelt due to the same repetitive motif, it’s in the spirit of Isengard maybe, especially when the vocalist tries to sing with a clear voice. And the bonus ‘Ode au temps passé (première version)’ is again some kind of mixture of Punk Rock with Burzum, and the piquancy of this mixture is given by screams in French, yes, this is heartfelt and naive.

Summary. Despite all the technical shortcomings of ‘Goétie’, there is still a lot of interesting here. Actually, listening to almost an hour of such music is not torture at all. There is something in all this authentic (i. e. not computer generated like modern Raw Black Metal) nightmare that can hook even twenty-odd years after its recording.