Review: Akando – Attack from Ambush

In 2014 Cheveyo started with his solo-project Akando. While Akando is German, their music is a mix of melodic death metal and thrash metal inspired by the Native Americans. On September the 13th, five years after Cheveyo started with Akando, their debut album was released. This debut is titled Attack from Ambush and is released via Boersma Records. In the meantime drummer Niyol and bass player Adahy joined the band, so that they can also play live, with Cheveyo himself playing the guitar and doing the vocals.

Attack from Ambush starts with an intro titled Oath of Revenge, which starts with nature sounds, instruments such as a flute and shamanic drums and Native American shouts, later we’ll also hear a narrator-like voice. This intro sounds very folky and epic, making it almost a cinematic-like intro that would also perfectly fit as a movie-intro.

With the following track Reservation Akando pounds right in, with the tight thrashy riffing and the raw vocals standing out the most. In terms of those raw vocals the tracks Raven Mocker and Death Song are standing out the most. On Raven Mocker we’ll also hear other vocal styles: very dark, low, clean vocals as well as grunts.

Something else that we in Raven Mocker hear for the first time on this album are the symphonic sounds in the background, something that later also returns in, for example, Ancient Voices, which also starts with a cinematic-like intro including spoken word, and the more calm and quite folky The March of a Thousand Miles.

It also returns in Wakan Tanka Nici Un which is, together with Heavy Runner Massacre, my personal favorite of this album. Wakan Tanka Nici Un is also pretty melodic. Not only in terms of the guitars, such as in Raven Mocker, but also in terms of vocals and song structure. That pretty melodic totality of this track in combination with the aforementioned symphonic effect, the “fists up in the air and shouting along”-part halfway, followed by a nicely roaring guitar solo and a somewhat folkier part towards the end are making Wakan Tanka Nici Un an epic track that will probably do very well when played live.

My other personal favorite of this album, Heavy Runner Massacre, pounds again in much heavier and thrashier fashion. Musically it’s quite a bit more brutal than predecessor Wakan Tanka Nici Un. Heavy Runner Massacre also includes two “fists up in the air and shouting along”-parts including Native American “Hu! Hu!”-shouts, which will also return in Death Song, just as some more melodic parts and a very nice guitar solo.

Attack from Ambush surely is an album for you if you’re a fan of guitar solos, because each track, except intro Oath of Revenge, includes a very nice guitar solo. For example, be sure to check Ancient Voices and Two Wolves Dwell In Me, which also contains wolf howling and the live probably epic sounding “hohoho”.

With Attack from Ambush Akando definitely delivered a very strong debut, with surely is potential year list material. It contains quite a big variation of rhythms, styles and vibes that all fit very well into each other, without creating an overdose. At moments Attack from Ambush sounds quite catchy and melodic, but it surely also contains its heavier moments. Attack from Ambush surely doesn’t sound like a debut, which it still is. So, Akando surely did a very good job. Attack from Ambush definitely is recommended, this surely is worth your time!

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