Of all of the bands and all of the musicians that have come out of retirement in attempt to cash in on their past, Judas Iscariot’s Akhenetan (Andrew Harris) has been one rare exception who has truly vanished into the depths of obscurity for good. Responsible for starting the careers of both Moribund Records and Krieg, Harris’s Judas Iscariot was once the most popular American black metal band. Formed in the days where Euronymous was still alive, JI played in the long-form Darkthrone style and memorably used (albeit poorly understood) Nietzsche Nilisist lyrics. But after a celebrated career of mediocre black metal was capped off with a wild family campaign scandal in 2002 (more on that in a moment), Akhenetan laid down his axe and disappeared forever.
But in an age where metal thrift-stores like Nuclear War Now! and their cronies will resell whatever refurbished sonic garbage they can find, Ascension Monuments Media has decided to dig up the rotted corpse of Judas Iscariot for another dose of record store necrophilia. Run by none other than Nachtmystium’s Blake Judd (oh shit! hide your wallets!), AMM is re-releasing tons of old Judas Iscariot vinyls and a super secret, unreleased (rejected) album called An Ancient Starry Sky.
While Akhenetan himself remains in long board room meetings with corporate banker swine, Judd and his label have successfully wrestled away the rights to almost all the music not released by Moribund (whose royalty rights are locked away in a chest in Odin Thompson’s basement). So how does this material hold up nearly 20 years later, to a scene and a world that’s turned completely upside down? What can we expect from this latest endeavor of hipster metal mania? And just why did the most popular American black metal musician of the 90’s go into complete exile, never to return?9 Comments