My Immortal Enemy - Akuma

"Those We Leave Behind" released in 2008 had a good chunk of my life revolving around a previous relationship I was involved in. The band the album was from was one out of California Los Angeles in the city of Long Beach called I Am Ghost. Whom I saw quite a few times spanning 2008 through 2010, during which time the band would break up; reuniting briefly several years later, to conclude their commence together with a finale if you will in 2016. But before the reunion would take place, main frontman and vocalist behind said band Steven Juliano would go off to form another band named Requiem For The Dead, later shortening it to Requiem. That band releasing a debut album "Always And Forever" (2011) and follow-up EP "Memories" (2013) under the Requiem For The Dead namesake, later releasing a whole another album titled "The Unexplainable Truth" under the Requiem name. That band would soon disband as well, having Steven Juliano go on to form another band this one being a whole another entity altogether calling themselves My Immortal Enemy.

My Immortal Enemy would be as said prior, a whole new project and band from Steve Julaino. This band taking an entire year of time to write and record what would be their debut album "Akuma". Releasing single's over the span of several month's thus including "Paradise", "I, Devil'lyn", "Dangerous", "Atlas", and "The Laughing Heart". The album would consist of 12-tracks described by the band as "rock anthems", having been recorded at Indigital Studios, then being mixed and mastered by Zack Ohren whose other worked included such bands as Machine Head, All Shall Perish, and Set Your Goals.

So then, how does this projected band line-up to the likes of Steven Juliano's past band projects i.e. I Am Ghost, Requiem For The Dead, and Requiem. Well "Dangerous", as a single was released this past spring time in April, the teaser then full track fully released and it being the opener of the album, would be a rather solid choice. Except the intro of the track is whether just thrown at you, as opposed to having a "build-up" to it, it is just dropped upon you, giving you a rush of energy and pulsating tension that makes the music electric. In short the track is simply put “fast” yet energetic.

"I, Devil'lyn", was another one of the single's to be released, it's teaser released in May with the full track released the next month of June. How it aligns after opener "Dangerous", is more or less another powerful punch, with more heaviness to it. Think of I Am Ghost's "Those We Leave Behind" (2008) crossed with Requiem For The Dead's "The Death Note of Shipwrecks" slightly.... with a dash of "Sticks & Stones & Her Lovely Bones" by Requiem.

Now "Into The Blue", sounds in similar fashion to that of I Am Ghost's "Killers Like Candy", but only similar in some aspects. Instrumentation for one, sounds in a way of one another, because of the heavy tone in some parts, whilst the vocalization is mellow throughout. It just recaptures that essence beforehand if you will sort of. "The Laughing Heart", is another one of those single's released already it being released back in March; it went on to showcase an element just as the other single's already mentioned. Containing a heaviness in tone, where the vocal chords are intense yet energetic through and through. Steven's vocal work being a lot like I Am Ghost's timing than his later banded projects.

"Atlas", follows suit, as it was released in April along the same time frame as others noted already. Except this one tends to include Steven's vocal work to be more put together, calming in on the scream antics more so at times, as other tracks had them as well, except they are presented more regularly at times. "Paradise", had its teaser in the mid to late summer, the full release coming in August with teaser in July. How does this single track hold up to those that came before it. Well as it turns out, it stands well on its own doing actually. It brings to mind later I Am Ghost meets Requiem vibes thoroughly well, in fact it has a circular fashion that makes the music very familiar yet re-freshening.

All of the tracks that follow; "Blood On My Hands", for one falls in-between the likes of newer I Am Ghost as far as sound goes. Think "Don't Wake Up", vibes and you get an ideal of how it ends up. "Chances Are", lingers with intensity that calls to the old material of I Am Ghost, energy galore really, vocal chords fulfilled like no tomorrow, keeping everything at a high end level, that the song becomes repeatable. "After The Funeral", leans more into the Requiem terrain, sounding a lot like their album, capturing that same source of tone, vocals are more "in your face", with an assortment of growls and screams, making the track more appealing, but sound a lot like "Say Hello To The Devil For Me" from Requiem.

"Shiver", sounds like it would have came off of Requiem For The Dead's album "Always And Forever", particularly a track "Kill Or Be Killed". Coming to the end with "Dearly Departed", combining the likes of the three previous bands Steven has sung for, same as what has been said for the most part. That energy and vocalization is all what this track has embedded within it. Intensity, mellow passion with lots of melodic tension with fast paced pressure, it just rings an effort of the trio of his past.

Lasting in on the finale of the "Akuma" debut album from My Immortal Enemy comes "Hellos Are Harder Than Goodbyes". The twelfth and last track to the album, turns out to be one that like the rest, are a lot like the past working’s in all honesty. Not saying that this is a bad thing, far from that, it means a remembrance. I Am Ghost was a part of Steven’s life for a good amount of time. To hear a lot of that band’s work in a similar way in these other bands is a chuckle of a good time. Each one may sound a lot alike at times, including My Immortal Enemy’s material. “Akuma”, as a whole though, is a stand alone piece of work. It does bring a familiarity to the listener, not necessarily being an I Am Ghost 2.0 per say but quite close enough.

My Immortal Enemy has dealt with some minor change ups since it’s formation, playing shows included, with releasing it’s array of single’s and this album to boot, surely the fans of the past creations from Steven Juliano will welcome this projected band with arms open widely. Having the single’s as call outs to the past, with the remainder of the album’s other track offering’s as acceptance of the future, and where this band could end up next. Let the excitement commence.

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