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Limelight Oct 3rd

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Album Of The Month October 2014
Occultation | ‘Silence In The Ancestral House’

Album Of The Month Oct 2014

I never thought I’d see the day. An occult, esoteric metal band literally drowning in the sound and tone of the real underground, redolent of so many classic bands yet sounding entirely like themselves.

Well, not entirely – and that’s part of their charm.

Imagine for a brief moment early Siouxsie Sioux (say ‘Hong Kong Garden’) laying her bewitched vocals over riffs that Candlemass had left over from ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’ and you’re basically there.

Yet almost immediately in opening track ‘The First Of The Last’ there is much, much more.

As if the above heady cocktail wasn’t enough, the track breaks, as if from nowhere, into THE most amazing take on ‘Spiritual Healing’-era Death worship I’ve heard in years. It’s just the guitars, it’s the drum shuffle, the hi-hat fizz and the whole vibe. Except not the whole vibe – and therein lies this band’s genius.

Those are just three of the influences on here that you’d never have thought would work together. Yet they do, and beautifully. It would be remiss of course not to pick up on the Jex Thoth connections in here (musically), which is a treat given how rapidly into boredom that band went. Yes it’s ‘cult’ sounding, but only because of those diabolus in musica progressions and the dousing in reverb that the whole thing enjoys.

The songcraft and musicianship are here in spades though, all expressed through a true, almost 60s style of production that lets the music breathe out its smoke with ease and space.

And you know it’s funny just how heavy a band can get without even using a double kick – ‘The Place Behind The Sky’ somehow sounds furiously intense with merely a beat here and there on the drums. It’s a strange paradox.

That song’s crowning glory is its chorus, which in truth is just pure ‘Gothic’ by Paradise Lost done slightly differently, but which is fantastic for it. Plus its speedy section with that bell-ride cymbal tinkling along is just trouncing.

This is an album all about tone, mood, enjoyment and exquisitely realised atmosphere. It’s the real thing – such a rare commodity these days, in which a band knows exactly how to communicate what they’re all about.

They’re like the anti-Ghost: a band who really do revel in a certain supernatural vibe, conjuring the psych and occult rock of the 60’s and 70’s, but who actually mean what they’re doing and bust their backsides musically in the process.

Each track is vital, and there is barely any filler. The whole piece is gracefully set off by wonderful artwork as you can see, bearing a bit of a similarity to the recent Morbus Chron release as well – another killer gem.

It’s just so timeless sounding and so uninterrupted by the plasticity of modern metal that you really should make every effort to hear it as a potent dose of Real Music. It’s got atmosphere, vibes, tones and chops to die for. Do not miss it, and well done to Invictus for picking them up.

4.3 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 07/10/14

  1. that is hauntingly beautiful

  2. pentagrimes Says:

    Yeah, been listning to this quite a bit over the last few weeks and it’s fantastic stuff. Really ups the ante from the debut

  3. wizardinblack Says:

    See I should like this, really good playing, easy sound, leaning towards the darkness, but it seems to want to constantly change to avoid being dull, which takes away from the sense of song, I want to to like it a lot more then I do, and I find the singing a bit monotone if I’me honest, needs to be more expressive to do the band justice. Good, but only good, could be great.

  4. I only heard the 7″ single after their gig here. Willing to give either album a go though.

  5. open face surgery Says:

    Nice. Keep meaning to go back to this.

  6. Monk Stone Wielder Says:

    This band is like a one trick pony. Each song really sounds so similar to me. The jumpy reverb guitars riffing on the high strings up and down like scales while the lady sings monotone spooky-ish. its good stuff, both albums, but very samey too me, e.g. tempos, riff styles, bridges, all of it. needs a lot more mix of in song writing structures to make this really awesome.

  7. Black Shepherd Says:

    Pure, perfectly executed BÖC worship with excellent female occult rock vocals harking back to even earlier bands. Looking forward to hearing the whole thing. Their guitarist has that thusfar inimitable Buck Dharma phrasing nailed. Savage.

  8. I liked the first Occultation album well enough but it never really grabbed me. However the track with the review sounds very good.

  9. Jason Hendry Says:

    Really enjoying this. The Dream Tide tune sounds great.Class vibe!

  10. I was just going to say, as pointed out above, the artwork is very much like the last Morbus Chron. Looks great!

    I saw this lot a couple of months ago and was a little underwhelmed – came across as all very samey when you don’t know the tracks. Looking forward to diving into the album though.

  11. This is class. Picked up sombre dawn in the void, also excellent

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