My Immortal Enemy – Akuma Album Review
From the ashes of epitaph records, I Am Ghost, comes a new project led by lead vocalist Steven Juliano. The group took a year to write and record their debut album, ‘Akuma’; 12 soaring rock anthems recorded at indigital studios (Santa Cruz, ca) and mixed/mastered by Zack Ohren (machine head, all shall perish, set your goals). Akuma drops this Friday (10th January).
Akuma roars with the fist track, Dangerous. This track is fast and furious with heart-pounding guitars that show no sign of quitting. The clean vocals cut through the blistering guitars with ease and are complemented by strong growls. The single I, Devil’lyn follows and you defiantly get an early Bullet for my Valentine vibe. I love the combination of clean and scream vocals as the passion cuts through the thunderous drums.
Thinks slow down on Into the Blue but the atmosphere continues. This is a track swirling with emotion. I love the lyrics and passion Steven Juliano and Jacklyn Paulette have as they exchange vocals.
The Laughing Heart is a thunderous track where the screamo is explosive. The breakdowns are hypnotic. The epic sounding guitars continue on Atlas but it’s the strings and keyboard in the background that lift this track up. Paradise musically is a metal paradise but for me, the opening vocals are the weakest element to the track. They don’t gel with the instrumentals as well as the previous tracks have. While this is a weak spot I’ll still listen to the track on repeat, mostly for that guitar solo.
Blood on My Hands comes at you with the same intensity at their opener. I love how you feel the rage and passion emitting from the lyrics. The best part, however, is the little piano section (I’m a sucker for a good keyboard) that also features on Chances are. The chorus is where this track shines, changing the tempo, that intensifies the impact of the vocals.
After the funeral is my favorite track off the album. The extended instrumental opening showcases the talent Joel Chandler has on bass and Ryan Heggum has on guitar. The vocals are all at the top of their game. When listening to Shiver, I get Ice Nine Kills vibes from the vocals, the combination of clean and screams work the best here.
We are almost near the end with Dearly Departed, where they turn up the melodrama. My Immortal Enemy presents an emotional and intense tale in 4 minutes of pure genius. Akuma comes to a close with Hellos are Harder Than Goodbyes, a masterful combination of the emotional turmoil and musical intensity the previous 11 tracks have presented us.
My Immortal Enemy has something truly special with this debut. I love every track, for what they bring to the album. This is a band for fans of Ice Nine Kills, Bullet for my Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold. Akuma is a fantastic way to kick off 2020 and I’m excited to see where they go from here. Be sure to check them out when Akuma drops this Friday.
Akuma is a fantastic way to kick-off 2020.