Published Apr 23, 2010We recently told you about cult American black/death metal band Acheron throwing in the towel after 22 years of pure satanic metal mayhem. However, at the time, the reasons as to why the group were breaking up were unclear. As it turns out, Acheron front-man Vincent Crowley is simply giving into the need to move on to other pursuits and is peacefully putting the musical beast to bed.
"This band has had its ups and downs for 22 years," Crowley said in a recent interview with Exclaim! "There's been lots of changes and evolving. I've been ready to move on to other things, so I am doing just that. I felt that our latest CD was just a great album to end on, and a perfect name, too."
The album Crowley is referring to is 2009's The Final Conflict: Last Days of God, which does have quite a catchy little ring to it, yes? Well, yes, if you're Crowley, who, as we mentioned, was once - among other things - the leader of a satanic youth group. And if you're at all like us, you're wondering what exactly goes on at such a youth group.
"I actually don't know," Crowley laughs. "Between 1992 and 1995, I headed an anti-Christian/satanic think tank called the Order of the Evil Eye. We were just a propaganda machine to let the Christians know we were around and not going anywhere. Some religious freaks labelled it as a satanic youth group. The truth was we had members of all ages. Just goes to show you how bullshit spreads."
The satanic aspect of Acheron was something that always set them apart from the blackened bunch. While lots of black metal bands talk the talk, how many walk the walk to the degree that Crowley and company did? Not many, and that's a big part of what this band's lasting legacy will be.
"I personally think Satanism is a philosophy and lifestyle, not a religion," he says. "When I'm not doing Acheron anymore I will still be the same person. I'm on the left hand path for life. As for music, it is art. Some people don't embrace the dark ideas they create, but I do. When all is said and done, at least I know Acheron was the real deal; no gimmicks here."
And back to the real deal of the music, we guessed that the band's final batch of shows, dubbed the "Rites of the Black Mass" shows, would find the band playing their classic debut album of the same name in its entirety. Crowley confirms this is indeed the case.
"Yes, we will be doing the whole album from start to finish, along with the stage show," he reveals. "We're only going to play select shows and fests, so we hope everyone comes out to see us one last time."
Acheron are a band that, despite never selling a lot of records or even hooking up with a solid record label for an extended period of time, have certainly earned the respect of their peers, something which Crowley is grateful for.
"I've had many musicians and bands tell me that Acheron influenced them," he says. "That is one major compliment. And some even covered Acheron songs on their albums. The underground will always be important to me. I'm glad we were able to leave a few scars [laughs]."
Crowley says the band hopes to compile video footage from this year's final bout of tours for a DVD release. But then that's it; he says that despite Acheron having split and reformed in the past, people need to realize that this is the real deal.
"Just for the record, this is a real break-up," he says, adding that he has future plans for other music, which he will reveal when the time is right. "I know I've done this in the past, but there is no turning back on this one."