Akercocke: On the Renaissance In Extremis

Akercocke: On the Renaissance In Extremis

Back in 2007, the classically dressed blackened death metal gentlemen known as Akercocke called it a day after releasing five albums between 1999 and 2007, all of which were some of the most influential underground metal albums. Then, this year, Akercocke shoved their way back into the scene with their sixth album Renaissance In Extremis. I caught up with gentleman, vocalist and guitarist Jason Mendonca.

When news spread late last year to early this year that the return of Akercocke was imminent with the release of their new album, Renaissance In Extremis, almost all fans of the band were rabid, and
understandably so, and the reception to the new album has been positive. “It’s just been totally humbling, we had no idea what regrouping the band would be like, it was done very sort of innocently, in a very grass roots sort of way,” Jason enthuses, “I think there were people actually waiting for something out there from us, and when we finally brought the album out the reception has just been meteoric.”

With a new album comes a tour and Aussie fans haven’t had the chance to see Akercocke live since the band arrived on our shores to tour their last album, 2007’s Antichrist. “We haven’t been down there since the Antichrist tour and we’d love to come back, we really, really would. The last time we were there it was just phenomenal. I love the country and I got to see bits of it I’ve not seen before, and it’s such a wonderful experience to play for the Aussie fans. Let’s hope 2018 brings an opportunity for us to get back down under, that’ll be amazing,” Jason says.

Without spoiling what we can expect if the guys come back some time soon, Jason explains their set list of their current string of shows overseas. “In the middle of the live shows I can tell you this: we play the new album in its entirety start to finish, which is a bit like an old school kind of prog/Iron Maiden thing. We thought it mildly daring and potentially contentious because, I don’t know about you, but when I go and see a band, they play loads and loads and loads of new material, and I’m just there going, ‘great, but I want to hear the classics’. So, we kind of topped and tailed the new album with ‘Horns Of Baphomet’, ‘Son Of The Morning’, and we wrap up with ‘A Skin For Dancing In’ and ‘Enraptured By Evil’, so yeah, there’s plenty of intense blasting in there for sure.”

Renaissance In Extremis, like the following shows, is just a progressive as their earlier material and Jason is happy to explain the prog influences throughout the band’s career and their new album. “I think, throughout the course of the album there’s a lot of wider ’70s sort of prog influences in there and it’s funny, and completely by accident, not by design, how if you integrate some of those ideas from past masters that it kind of gets re-contextualised and it almost takes on something new.”

Release: Renaissance In Extremis is out now.

Written by Paul S Taylor