Acrimonious: Sunyata

Occult Greeks black metallers insert some Scandic DNA

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A little-known name, Acrimonious began life as far back as a decade ago, even if they have only really begun to make a name for themselves since their debut full-length, Purulence, in 2009. Though hailing from Athens in Greece, it’s telling that they are also fronted by one ar-Ra’d al-Iblis, better known as Swedish vocalist Carl ‘Tiburtius’ Nordblom of Matricide.

To what extent his presence has affected the songwriting is hard to say, but there’s no doubt the group appear very Swedish in their approach to the genre. As the occult cover art suggests, Acrimonious carry the overt religious overtones of that scene, but also many of the musical attributes.

Not only are there are frequent references to the monochromatic fury of contemporary acts such as Ondskapt and even Watain, but there are also obvious nods to Dissection, thanks to a few Maiden-infused blackened melodies. Despite the catchiness of the riffing and the sometimes grandiose sense of occasion, the songwriting is notably dense, resulting in an engrossing – if occasionally dry – experience.