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Occultation

Three & Seven

(Profound Lore; US: 17 Apr 2012; UK: 17 Apr 2012)

The clue to the sinister brand of metal showcased by Occultation is right there in its moniker. The band plays occult metal, stripped back to its creepiest form, with plenty of twisted progressive and psychedelic rock woven in. The band features EMM from revered black metal outfit Negative Plane, so it’s no surprise to find that Three & Seven is otherworldly. However, its rampant eccentricity sets it apart from the revisionist rock pack.


Sounding as if it were recorded in a cavernous ruin, Three & Seven is drenched in echo and reverb. Its wraithlike female vocals, organ drones, corpulent bass, and ritualistic percussion are deeply macabre—a long-lost horror soundtrack mixed with classic ‘80s satanic metal. “The Sea of Snakes and Souls”, “Dreamland in Flames” and “The One Who Sleeps” all combine icy tremolo riffs with murk-ridden, ceremonial dirges. The rest of the album follows suit, intertwining haunting melodies with gloomy synth to bolster its fouled atmosphere and mystic allure. Seven tracks all set with the clear vision of providing a one-way trip to hell.

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Craig Hayes is based in Aotearoa New Zealand, and he is a contributing editor and columnist at PopMatters. Alongside his reviews and feature articles, Craig's monthly column, Ragnarök, traverses the metal spectrum. He is the co-author of PopMatters' regular metal round-up, Mixtarum Metallum, contributes to radio shows and numerous other sites, and he favours music that clangs, bangs, crashes, or drones. Craig can be found losing followers daily on twitter @sixnoises.


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