Jun 202016



(Our long-time New Zealand supporter and occasional guest writer Booker reviews the new album by the Paris-based band Acyl.)

Back in 2012, Islander put out a request for fellow readers to pitch in a review or two while he was otherwise occupied. One of the belated efforts I offered was a review of Acyl’s Algebra album, which I’d been cranking on high rotation since randomly discovering it some months earlier in the nether regions of the internet (it’s amazing what you’ll find back there!). That post was one of my first here at NCS, and just like a bad case of herpes I’ve kept coming back ever since. So long, in fact, that Acyl have had time to tour, hit restart on the writing process, orbit the sun a few times, and record and release a follow-up album: Aftermath, which came out at the start of the month. Continue reading »

Nov 162012

(New Zealand-based NCS patron Booker follows up his last guest review with another one.  The subject of this piece is the debut album by a Paris-based band named Acyl, who have a decidedly different approach to metal.)


So growing up in the 90’s (OMG! I’m like, so old!!), Sepultura were one of my favourite bands. Some say Arise was their best offering and despise all the ‘world-music/Brazilian’ influence on later releases, most notably Roots. Without wanting to revive the old chestnut of post-Max Sepultura (arguing about which never seems to die), whatever your opinion of Against-onward era Sepultura, or the direction of Soulfly, unarguably both have progressively moved away from the world-music influence into a more stripped-down sound.

Over the same course of time, the Western world has been exposed more and more to the Arab world, and let’s face it, not usually from the likes of Jim Al-Khalili expounding on how insightful those ancient Arab mathematicians and astronomers were, but more likely linked with post 9/11, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, radical Islam, and the like.

Well, who should come along and kill two birds with one stone (or album, more accurately – although really I don’t think the killing of birds was actually involved) but Acyl with their debut LP Algebra out this year – bringing a good ‘world music mixed with metal’ fix, and also some of the goodness the Arab world has to offer in terms of its language (one of the most ancient in the world, consider that for a while if you will) and old-school Arabian musical stylings. In doing so, these guys have achieved something incredibly difficult in this day and age – a debut album with a distinctive, unique sound. Continue reading »