Jason Mendonca (guitars, vocals) and David Gray (drums) had known each other since their teenage years, growing up together in the heady days of the eighties thrash scene, and had already dabbled in the dark musical arts with their first black metal band Salem Orchid, who made quite a name for themselves on the early nineties underground scene. Distinguishing themselves from their contemporaries (most notably an embryonic Cradle of Filth) through their epic, avant-garde arrangements.AKERCOCKE formed in early '97. Founder members
Salem Orchid officially split in '92 and Jason and David went their separate ways. Jason became fascinated by the power of harsh noise, seeking to replicate the extremity of death and black metal with electronics, while David dedicated himself to devilry, leaving music behind for a number of years. When the two reunited towards the end of 1996 they spent the initial period learning how to play their instruments again and looking for like-minded individuals to complete the line-up. They found these in old acquaintances Paul Scanlan (guitars) and Peter Theobalds (bass), AKERCOCKE was born.
The band spent 1997 developing their sound and writing material. Blending the down-tuned brutality of classic death metal with the unsettling, discordant riffing of bands like Voivod and Killing Joke, AKERCOCKE had created a unique style, and by adding a healthy shot of Satanism to the mix along with a dose of Jason's beloved power electronics the band firmly stamped their own identity on the material. The time had come to bring their music to the masses, and throughout 1998 AKERCOCKE played regularly at the infamous Devil's Church club in Islington. The band further asserted their individuality by taking to the stage wearing suits, a look seemingly at odds with the music they played, but the formal wear merely reflected their extreme discipline.
It didn't take long before AKERCOCKE had developed a dedicated local following, and their name spread through the underground scene like a virus. At the same time, the band were hard at work on their first recording. Initially releasing a two-track promo tape, given away free at concerts, AKERCOCKE found that the demand for a full-length CD was considerable by the time that they completed work on their debut album Rape of the Bastard Nazarene. Released in early 1999 on their own Goat of Mendes label, the disc earned them instant respect from their peers. Though the recording budget was minimal, the maturity of the band's sound was more than evident from songs such as Zuleika and Marguerite and Gretchen, and feedback from the fans was unanimously positive. In an unprecedented move, Terrorizer Magazine awarded Rape of the Bastard Nazarene Album of the Month (a first for a self-financed release) and ran a two-page feature on Akercocke in its August issue, the mag also voted the band Best Unsigned Band in their end of year polls.
With many explosive, successful gigs behind them Akercocke set their sights high, with a mission to find a label that would not restrict them in their dark vision. The uncompromisingly underground label Peaceville had been keeping a close eye on the London based outfit for quite some time, and were quick to offer Akercocke a deal. Being the home to some of the band's favourite artists, notably Darkthrone & Autopsy a three album deal was eeked out in menstrual blood & semen, the first unholy fruit of this union will be the bands debut album for Peaceville, titled Goat Of Mendes, this opus diabolica will hit the shops at the end of May 2001.
(Source: Peaceville Records)