Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Blackened Crust

OCCULTIST Death Sigils Review

Richmond’s Occultist has changed a bit since their last release, Hell by Our Hands. The one difference is they have gotten heavier. It is quite a noticeable difference as they jam pack their new album, Death Sigils, with such unrelenting anger that gives very little room to breathe, and, with this death-grip around the throat, Occultist proceeds to sonically assault the listener while conjuring up all kinds of evil.

The first track off the album, “Iron Distort”, is a pulverizing track, and one of the heaviest to exist. Breakneck speed coupled with sheer brutality leads to a raw, punishing sound. Right from the get-go, Occultist buries the hatchet and opens the Gates of Hell, ushering out demonic fury with deep in-the-pocket drumming and fuzzy bass. The track takes no prisoners; it is a hybrid of thrash and blackened crust that pushes the pace. Right from the opening seconds the listener is thrust into the menacing world Occultist has created, and this world never lets go.


“Devils Breath” is definitive doom metal. As a complete 180 from the opener, Occultist brings out a slower elegy that chugs along and seems to conjure the devil with crafty, loud guitarwork and ritual-like drumming. All instruments are deep and punching; the vocals themselves blend with the instruments and switch between raspy, throat ripping warcries to lower, more gutteral vocals – there couldn’t be a more perfect union. Towards the end, the track breaks into a frenzy, ushering in a timely solo, finally closing out with the same kind of drumming, signaling the end of their attack on the eardrums.

The title track, “Death Sigils”, opens with a drum pattern reminiscent of Slayer’s “Hell Awaits”. There is a lot of Slayer influence on this track, and it isn’t a bad thing. Occultist is able to use this influence to their advantage; with bone crunching riffs and mighty drumming, Occultist creates a dark atmosphere within the music – it is a sound that is truly evil. “Death Sigils” is a track that has a lot of working parts to it. It goes from this thrashy sound to very old school doom metal, reinforced by the low growls.

“Blackest Apotheosis” starts as a funeral dirge – imagery of men wearing dark cloaks carrying a coffin to the patch of land where it will be buried; sludgy overtones from the bass and drums give way to the singing guitars that eventually usher in the raw heaviness. What the band describes as “blackened deathcrust” is appropriate. Occultist plays a different kind of metal, one that isn’t just fast and just loud. They break down into doomy, sludgy riffing only to pick up the intensity while maintaining the excellent riffing, deeply distorted bass and crushing drums. “Blackest Apotheosis” is in a class of its own in terms of musicianship; everything clicks on this track – there are so many different influences and ideas floating around that the final creation is something merciless and destructive.

Death Sigils is packed with different styles and different techniques of bringing their style of heavy music to the listener. Whether Occultist breaks it down and goes for the more classic doom metal approach or a thrash assault, they are more than capable playing in different styles. Of course Occultist is heavy; this is one of the heaviest records to exist out of the underground. Occultist gets a raw sound that comes from their ability to play these differing styles, sometimes having them clash to give them a brighter, fuller sound. Death Sigils opens up the range of said ability. The album is a kick in the teeth, a completely menacing and dark entity; a true head-banger. It is an album that doesn’t build up, only to have the aggression be released along the journey. It starts off with that unbridled intensity and carries on through the last moments. Death Sigils is a driving force and its the mark of a band pushing themselves to craft a sound that is demonic and creative, succeeding in all facets.

The full length will be available from Primitive Ways Records.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


via Lazer Horse There’s nothing funny about death really. But there is a lot of certainty to it. There’s not a person who’s ever...

Black Metal

During the first year of CVLT Nation, I was turned on to this unreal band from Wales called GHAST. Their release Terrible Cemetery was...

Black Metal

More Chaos! More Fury! More Rancid Riffs! only begins to tell you how CVLT Nation’s Blackened Everything Vol. IX is going to get you...


By Sascha via Behold The Blessed Wax Trial – Moments Of Collapse LP, 1986 This is not a write up about the Straight Edge...

Copyright © 2020 ZoxPress Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.