Friday, November 6, 2015
Cult of the Occult : "Five Degrees Of Insanity"
Despite what the message boards on No Clean Singing would like you to believe this hasn't been the year for doom, sure Bell Witch, Skepticism and Shape of Despair, put out albums but when you listen to dozens of metal albums a week, three big names in the genre is not a banner year. Many bands are evolving out of the genre like Ahab and Elder, typically doom bands who did not put out doom albums this year. The same could be said about French band Cult of Occult. They are more sludge on their new album than doom. Each of the album's songs describes another state of insanity. The first "Alcoholic" almost succeeds in bowling you over with sheer heaviness, but I had the distinct feeling this was just denser Eyehategod.
The vocal tone takes on a more guttural growl on "Nihilistic" , a ten minute jam that employs a more doom like hesitancy before pounding the point home. Once they start throwing the chug down on you it's way more sludgey. Because if we are going to be honest about what doom is, then we have to acknowledge the oppressive sense of mourning the music needs to convey. They are oppressive, but much like death metal tend to only display that in a very aggressive manner . This is nothing against the band, just what they do. Any illusions of this band being doom are blasted out of the water by the flurry of blast beats that start off "Misanthropic". They are somewhat bi-polar in that they do crash down into a moodier plodding riff. I like the more chanted vocal section at the mid way point. One thing that can be said about this album is the effectively capture the essence of each degree of insanity they touch upon. This however doesn't play in the favor of "Psychotic" as it's a song that barely holds it self together. Some of the vocal interplay is interesting , but it's the weakest song on the album.
Lyrically "Satanic" lives up to it's name more than it does musically. Though it's super fuzzed out with a touch of ambiance, the song just doesn't feel evil, a sensation that could be learned by honing in on black metal band's that have a more ritualistic sound. Even fiendishly creepy works. Anyone can rant about slitting children's throats and declaring war on christians , but you gotta make me feel it and not just joke around.It does gather more darkness , but I have the bar set pretty high once you bring Satan into the picture. I'll give this one a 7.5 as it gets the job done, but won't make my top 15 metal albums of the year.