Friday, October 31, 2014
Occultation : "Silence in the Ancestral House"
Occult rock got to be a thing some where on the heals of Devil's Blood and Ghost. Most were retro doom with female belters fronting the band. While none have really been able to hold a candle to the Devil's Blood, Selim is dead and I am over it enough to accept contenders. My first outing with this band the production was so re-verbed out it was hard for the album to hold any balls.
This go around the production is improved and they are going a slightly darker route. There are winding prog riffs that spill out from the gloom.There guitarist hails from Negative Plane, so he is no slouch and not unlike the last album the band's strong point. The vocalist sits more properly in the mix, her melodies are more obtuse than not, leaving the guitar to pick up the slack. At times she has abandoned the Grace Slick thing for a more Siouxsie approach, but never locks in and drifts around the winding riffs.They find a more traditional doom vibe on "All Hallow's Fire" that works and allows the more Blue Oyster Cult guitar explorations to wander, while having something to ground them.
"The Place Behind the Sky" takes on a hypnotic tone with almost neo classical King Crimson like intervals. This lulls you into a trance and fades into the back ground.The vocals almost lock in on "The Dream Tide", but everything is swirling around it in such a fashion it is hard to imagine where they should fall so perhaps its working. They do have all the elements fall into place on "Forever Hereafter" even the vocals works here. The drumming is pretty creative, knowing when the groovy almost disco beat works best and is rarely taking a more metal approach.
The title track closes out the album and opens with a much more Siouxsie like feel. I had heard death rock thrown around in regards to this album and it's not really founded in any ting but slight turns to a more shadow like side of the band. At the three minute mark the band touches on a section that really moves the song then drops it down to just the bass line and spookiness.
I will give this one an 8.5, it sounds better and the songs do have proggy almost middle eastern elements that pull you into the trip, but the effects of this drug disorient me in a way where I can not feel where the song is going or if it's like a spinning room and the motion leads to the same place over and over.