By Sarah Kitteringham
It’s no secret that “metal that sounds like it was made in the ‘80s” is swelling forth from the underground like incessant and wretched hell spawn at this very moment. Call it a reaction to the hyper processed production of the 2000s, call it a bunch of kids/adults trying to be TRVE (with the V, not the U, because that’s how she goes, boys), or call it the great poser elimination… It don’t matter. Murky production, non-triggered drums, and basement-quality recordings are spewing forth both deliberately and organically from bands around the world, to polarizing results.
If you sit on the side of the fence that looks back at Exciter and Sodom’s classic early material with glee, then Occult Burial’s debut full-length will pass your lofty expectations. The Ottawa trio lives and breathes that period; hell, they’ve only released cassette and vinyl demos and splits; their live performances are ritualistic and deliberate. For their debut full length Hideous Obscure, released via taste making label Invictus Productions, you can expect blackened speed metal with a specific template: that is Obsessed by Cruelty era Sodom mixed in with some Torment in Fire era Sacrifice. Hell, one of the band members even sports an Angelripper bowl haircut in a promo photo. These guys aren’t fucking around with their homage worship, although the uninitiated might be inclined to suggest otherwise.
Hideous Obscure is a whole-package-deal: it’s nine songs of a raspy blackened screech over punk/traditional metal riffs, sped up and stripped down raw. From the atmospheric instrumental opener (creatively dubbed “Intro”) to the Inquisition style Popeye/frog vocals opening up “A Witch Shall Be Born (Daughter of Darkness)” which is peppered with the jackhammer snare, the music is fist pumping and simple-in-the-right-ways. “Blasted Death” has the perfect intro with a ripping solo and aggressive backbeat; later on, the title track is all raw grooves and malignant growls.
Of course, such a sound is accompanied by a strong visual aesthetic, including a highly stylized name and smoky cover art, complete with skulls and gauntlets. This is a package deal, and Occult Burial knows the crowd they are catering to. Here, living and practicing a certain musical style resulted in a highly pleasing package, sure to inspire worship from a deliberate and specific crowd.
Buy Hideous Obscure from Invictus Productions on April 25th. Stay tuned to beatroute.ca on April 10th for an exclusive track premiere and interview with Occult Burial’s Dan Lee, Dan McLoud, and Joel Thomas.Hideous Obscure, Occult Burial