Ak-11 are a band from Australia that has been featured before in this zine and plays a raw, melodic and pagan form of black/war metal and this is a review of their self released 2014 album "Once Upon A Time In Europa".
A very distorted sound starts off the album before getting a lot heavier and adding in high pitched black metal screams which leads to a faster direction along with blast beats and guitar leads and they also bring in a great mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts as well as adding a good amount of melody into their music.
All of the musical instruments on the recording sound very powerful and there is a great amount of raw aggression in the bands musical sound and after awhile deeper vocals can be heard in certain sections of the album and they bring in a death metal feeling to the bands musical sound which also shows up in the riffing and blast beats at times and this album goes for mostly a raw and melodic black metal direction.
On the track "Slava" you can hear some world war II samples and then the next track takes the music into a more fast and chaotic war metal direction which they also mix in with the more melodic side of black metal, on a couple of the tracks also sees the band add in a small amount of synths which gives the music a more militant neo-classical feeling before returning back to a heavier direction while the synths do appear later on briefly before going into the last track.
Ak-11 remains true to the musical direction that was found on the ep while also adding in more melody and showing a great amount of progress and skill as musicians, the production sounds very powerful for being a self released recording while the lyrics are written in a mixture of Russian and German and cover war, carnage, bloodlust, Ancient European Paganism, Left Hand path and Existentialism themes.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Ak-11 and if you are a fan of raw and melodic black/war metal, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "The Cleansing Stream" "Sniper Glory" "Europa (Once Upon A Time)" and "Europa (The Future)". 8/5 out of 10.