Above Empires


If there is one band that can hale influences from a variety of different artists […]
By Guy "Kai" Naiman
September 11, 2019
Aktaion - Above Empires album cover

If there is one band that can hale influences from a variety of different artists and genres and bind them together into one entity in their own opus, that's AKTAION. The Halmstad-based quintet have released so far two albums, wherein each release they sound more and more convincing, and with their third input, "Above Empires", released in late August, the Swedes have shaped their complicated algorithm to a beautiful parabola - and the result may bring tears of joy to your eyes.

While listening to "Above Empires", one can easily hear how the band came up with their sound. There are traces of influences spread around the entire album - and it is done in miraculous fashion, forming their own style. OPETH, GOJIRA, LAMB OF GOD... it's all in there, but would make for an effort to spot upon the initial listening session. What binds everything together is AKTAION's refined ability to write and organize songs in a creative and an engaging way.

While all the songs on "Above Empires" are fantastic in their own way, some tracks were the pinnacle of excellence. "Oblivion" is perhaps the spotlight of the album, with its atmosphere serving the metaphor of trying to calm down while the surrounding is burning. The background instruments raise ruckus in the muddiest and dirtiest manner, while Jonas is almost desperate to light a kindle of hope. "Standing Upon The Shoulders Of Giants" serves the closure with aggressive finesse, hinging with melancholy and hopelessness.

AKTAION managed to pull something incredible with "Above Empires", fully controlling their musical terrain, and to what it's worth, the outcome is far more elevated than anything I'd expect a band of their calibar to produce. Keep an eye out for the Halmstaders AKTAION - they might become the band that the Melodic Death Metal camp was yearning for, with its paean coming to a sudden end in recent years.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Above Empires" Track-listing:

1. North Of The Sun
2. King Crab
3. Before The Face Of God
4. Oblivion
5. Above Empires
6. In The Blink Of An Eye
7. Know Peace
8. March Of The Walrus
9. Standing Upon The Shoulders Of Giants

Aktaion Lineup:

Jonas Snäckmark- Vocals
Francis Larsson - Guitars
Axel Croné - Guitars
Jonatan Ney - Guitars, Vocals
Oskar Johnsen Rydh - Drums

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