Last year I had the good fortune to have a listen to Occultist's "Hell By Our Hands" and I was hooked, this band has an incredibly aggressive mixture of underground styles which just cannot be ignored. This album, surpasses the previous release by leaps and bounds, it's an inspiring cacophony which all somehow come together in a unholy order of perfection!
The songs are whipped up in a blender of thumping punk bass, crust styled vocals, death metal growls, thrash crunch and beats which are poured out and garnished with a tasty red cherry of nwobhm leads placed squarely on top to make a cocktail which will have you stumbling about your room in a drunken haze more than five long island iced teas! Don't you dare think they ever become watered down either 'cause at other times, the instruments go the other way, with punk beats, death metal string work...you get the gist.
Holy fuck, seriously, as I pointed out in my review of their last offering, there are no genre labels which could accurately tag this band. You think I'm yanking your chain? Oh, lowly unbeliever, then just have a listen to track five "Path of the Damned" (below) so that you may be humbled!
The album literally explodes from the speakers with "Iron Distort" like an animal infected with an apocalyptic virus bursting forth from its cage and doesn't back off pummeling you until the stereo is left in embers and you're sitting in you chair with a look of awe painted across your face like smeared corpsepaint once the curtain of stillness falls after the last track "Towers of Silence".
If you had no idea what you were listening to, tracks like "Devil's Breath" and the title track "Death Sigils" would have you thinking that you had stumbled across an oldschool, bad ass, punk inspired scandinavian death metal band; Nathaniel's growling backing up Kerry's incredible pipes are evil as fuck and the album is blazingly fast.
All the songs are superb, doesn't matter if you're a thrasher, got corpsepaint dripping down your chin or you're looking for either some killer metal riffs or Hellbastard styled heavy crust, this album is a fine, fine example of what's happening in the underground today and should appeal to you; there's so much going on here, listen to the complexity of the intro on "Blackest Apotheosis", you have no idea what's coming down the pipeline and when it does, it's sublime!
A new tagline which people have been using is "blackened thrash punk", but again, I don't know how many times I can stress this, Occultist is one of those bands who simply do not meet any kind of classification which music journalist so dearly love to add bands to; they are as unique as they are powerful.
If heavy is your thing, than you can look beyond ununoctium as being the heaviest, atomic weight wise, manmade element because Occultist should be classified as element 120! "You jest" you say? Nope, not at all, if these guys were any heavier, they'd collapse in on themselves and create a gravitational pull which would bend time/space just as much as they bend your mind!
This album is available for pre-order now (check out that album cover artwork by Stiv Bar-itch!) or you can freely download it from bandcamp, just remember, bands, as with any artists, need your help so donations are strongly encouraged and if you just don't have the money to spare, please take the time to share Occultist's name with your friends and point them in the direction where they can show their support!
Kerry Zylestra - Vox
Kent Jung - Lead Guitar
Jim Reed - Guitar
Leland Hoth - Drums (He has since gone onto a new project Vorator and the band now has the amazing Brandon Whittaker on the kit.
)Nathaniel Acker - Bass/Growls
Occultist upcoming tour dates so far: