The Meads of Asphodel
|©2001 Supernal Music
1. The Excommunication Of Christ
3. The Watchers Of Catal Huyuk
4. Agrat Bat Malah
5. Weeping Tears Of Angel Light
6. Bene Ha Elohim
7. Assault And Battery
8. Jezebel And The Philistines
9. Pale Dread Hunger
10. Rise In Godless Hell
11. Disembodied Voices Of Melchizeden
12. Falling with Lightning Rays Beamed through the Blazing Firmament Towards the Untented Burial Ground of Kharsag
13. Calling All Monsters
Emerging from the muck of England to quite definitely supplant Bal-Sagoth as Britain's most quirky and loquacious metal band, The Meads of Asphodel offer an interesting variation on death metal, one that melds together classic metal elements, Eastern-ish melodies and a true tie-in with Hawkwind. (That connection to England's longest running space-rock band was formalized in 2003 when former Hawkwind bassist Alan Davey joined The Meads.) The Excommunication of Christ is The Meads' first full length album after a couple of demos.
The Meads of Asphodel have a musical foundation that dwells roughly within the confines of death metal, although their overall style is far more fluid and melodic than the connotation of death metal may suggest. Vocalist Metatron (no, that's not what his parents called him) has a hoarse, one tone approach, but the music takes enough left turns and intriguing tangents to be the real focus here. Keyboards have a prominent role within The Meads' music, often venturing into what we western folk like to call "Middle Eastern influence". I personally never know if it's truly derived from that part of the world or the movie version of what that music is supposed to sound like. The Meads also find themselves with fairly groovy sections, which is fairly uncommon in more extreme metal. There are also more ambient sections, which tend to fall into the Hawkwind realm of electronic thought. Speaking of Hawkwind, The Meads cover "Assault and Battery", which should bring a smile to the face of old acid burnouts everywhere.
Perhaps my only real beef with The Excommunication of Christ is that it goes on a tad too long for anyone's good. The band obviously has tons of ideas that they just can't withhold from the public, even when it bogs the album down. However, that said, this is a fine debut from one of the few creative lights in the extreme metal universe.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 11/2007