Exploring An Agonizing Account of Grief: An Interview with Mike DiSalvo (AKURION, ex-CRYPTOPSY)

Diving deep into the frontman's latest and most heartfelt effort.

Words by Rohan (@manvsplaylist):

Come Forth To Me is the name of the new debut album from Montreal outfit AKURION. This group of metal lifers have emerged from numerous setbacks to deliver one of the year’s most sophisticated, balanced and poignant releases in extreme music.

The group is made up of a collection of some of Montreal’s finest. Fronted by none other than the incomparable (if by no other metric than the ability to inspire debate amongst metalheads!) Mike DiSalvo (vocals, COMA CLUSTER VOID, ex-CRYPTOPSY), Rob Milley (guitars, NEURAXIS, TORN WITHIN, ex-PHOBOCOSM), Oli Pinard (bass, CRYPTOPSY, CATTLE DECAPITATION), and Tommy McKinnon (drums, COMA CLUSTER VOID, ex-NEURAXIS & AUGURY). Over the years the project has found itself in various stages of development, recording, limbo, tragedy, and now finally – release. A statement from the label helps give some context to the challenging timetable that Come Forth To Me has faced:

“The band was originally teasing this material back in 2015. Due to Mike's wife's terminal illness, Genevieve DiSalvo, who sadly left our world in 2018 and Oli's schedule once he joined Cattle Decapitation, the band was put on indefinite hiatus until it felt right and everyone was in a good place to move this band forward.”

The result of these years of persistence, toil, and sadly tragic events is now here. The culmination of this challenging process is an album steeped in creative technicality, and overflowing with range of both stylistic and mood shifts that span the entire length of the record. It serves as a haunting tribute to those whose memory it honors, and testament to the creative vision that each member brought to the table.

During a recent catch-up via phone, we were able to get some input from Montreal-based Mike DiSalvo himself on various aspects of the project’s evolution, the turbulent and tragic path it has followed, as well as insights into Mike’s own storied background.

Mike begins by explaining how the AKURION project began to take shape back in 2012:

“It was me and Rob (guitarist Rob Milley), we used to work down the street from one another, we’ve known each other for years, we’d meet up over lunch and Rob would tell me he had some riffs and some fully worked songs that he’d put together, and we said “well - let’s get together!” So I had him over to the house and he started playing me pretty much full songs from the record. And we started getting together the two of us, putting some words together, some titles together, and we started piecing it together like that. And once we had a solid base of general ideas for what direction we wanted to go, we decided “let’s bring some other people in”.
So we connected with Tommy (who Rob had played and toured with previously on Neuraxis), so it was the three of us and then