Monday 20 January 2014

Occultist - Death Sigils (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 27/11/2013
Label : Primitive Ways

'Death Sigils', album track listing :

1. Iron Distort
2. Devil's Breath
3. Death Sigils
4. Ritual Blast
5. Path of the Damned
6. A Hell for the Innocent
7. Blackest Apotheosis
8. Towers of Silence

Bio :

Blackened crust command Occultist was formed in a living room on Marshall Street in Richmond, VA in 2009. Sonically they gravitate towards fusing elements of punk/crust/metal -  retaining the visceral primitive aspects of a punk feel with some flourishes of atmosphere along with no frills, blackened thrash/ death riffage. Vocalist Kerry added her corroded throat to the mix in the Spring/Summer of 2010, after which they did a short East Coast run with Hot Graves and released their first EP. "Hell By Our Hands"  dropped in the spring of 2012, shortly before the band hit the road once more, this time with morbid thrash assassins Ghoul. 

Occultist have stayed busy on the live front, sharing floors and stages with the likes of: Pentagram, GWAR, Tragedy, Black Anvil, Cough, Dragged Into Sunlight, Nunslaughter, Poison Idea, BuzzOven, Hellbastard, and Toxic Holocaust. Now, with the imminent release of 'Death Sigils,' the band have lined up some seriously sick touring arrangements for the coming year, and are ready to take the nation by storm

Review :

Championed by Terrorizer and other extreme metal enthusiasts, female fronted noise makers Occultist have demanded our attention through their effective hybrid of crust punk, black and death metal, or blackened death crust as a more condensed interpretation. Expectations ran high for their first full length after the demo 'Hell By Our Hands' displayed astounding promise. Well, all expectations are exceeded with 'Death Sigils', an album that is relentless, ruthless and a far cry from the rigid paradigms of metal that often infects the genre. 

Difficult to pigeonhole or categorize, 'Death Sigils' is in a realm of its own, the blending of extreme metal genres creates something that can be appreciated by people of various tastes. Death and black metal riffs together with growling vocal hooks work perfectly alongside the crust punk onslaught, an amalgamation that generates a brutal ear bludgeoning assault. Basically, the ultimate soundtrack you need after a shitty day. 

Opening track Iron Distort erupts with anger and utter hostility, distorted, chuggy and at times thrashy, Occultist set the tone from the get go. Devils Breath is an outstanding track, the death metal influence being at the forefront of the construction, predominantly displayed through the guttural death growls, while Death Sigil has some black metal hooks and riffs immersed within that would turn the head of any devout BM fan. Path of the Damned illustrates the clear crust punk influences that are aplenty throughout the album but particularly come through in this track. Finally, Towers of Silence is a bleak blackened affair, drawing the album to an end with a blistering guitar solo and most significantly evoking an insatiable want for more.

Vocalist Kerry Zylstra (aka K.Z) leads the charge in Occultist, her snarling vocals are nothing short of phenomenal, it’s hard to believe this is only her first band. And what a band they are, ‘Death Sigils’ is an album of immense quality. Occultist have set such a high standard in their first full length I eagerly await their next move, anything that even comes close to ‘Death Sigils’ will be a triumph.

Words  by : Heather Blewett

You can buy it here

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