The band was formed in 1997 by Jason Mendonca and David Gray. The two had been friends in the past, and played in Salem Orchid until 1992, when that band split up. They soon added second guitarist Paul Scanlan and bassist Peter Theobalds. They self-released their first album, Rape of the Bastard Nazarene, in 1999; after this release met with some success, they were signed to the underground Peaceville Records. Their debut release for the new company was 2001's The Goat of Mendes, previously released on the band's own Goat of Mendes label. 2003 saw the release of Choronzon, on Earache Records.
Guitarist Paul Scanlan then parted company with Akercocke. According to the recently written biography of the band by Gray, Scanlan was officially fired from the band for not being dedicated, and contributing the wrong atmosphere to the band in general. His replacement is Matt Wilcock, formerly of Australian metal band The Berzerker.
Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone was released in Britain and Europe in October 2005, and in the United States in February 2006, on Earache Records to great critical acclaim. To promote the album, Akercocke went on tour with Mortician and Blood Red Throne through Europe. Prior to this, they had played four shows in Britain to promote the new album, supported by fellow British death metallers Ted Maul.
On January 18, 2007, Theobalds left the band, citing personal differences. He was replaced by Peter Benjamin of the band Corpsing.
Akercocke released their fifth album, Antichrist, on May 28, 2007. This will be their last album on the Earache label, as they were only contracted to them for three albums. A video has been released for the song "Axiom", directed by Erica Herbert of HSI London, deemed "a unique and beautiful visual outing" by Jason Mendonca.
The band’s Antichrist album release was met with controversy from Christian groups, mostly notably in America where a printing plant refused to print the album’s inlay booklet. An Earache representative said that this was because they refuse to print “satanic materials”. Jason Mendonca commented saying he didn’t find the booklet “overtly anti-Christian” and their refusal to print it was “really ugly. And it smacks of fascism to me.”
The band also hit controversy in Northern Ireland when they scheduled a tour date in Belfast on May 18, 2007 and also appeared on BBC1’s debate show, Nolan Live on May 16, 2007 to defend their right to play the gig. On the show they came under fire from Christian groups who believed they were spreading a dangerous message to Northern Ireland’s youth.
On August 4, 2007, the band played a special 10-Year-Anniversary Concert at the Underworld in London, which was believed to be filmed for a live CD and DVD release in the near futur