Initially, I was skeptical about Occultation’s blend of doomy rock and the uniquely weird guitar tone employed on Negative Plane’s last album. However, since the album was released through underground metal giant Profound Lore, I gave it a chance.
The easy comparison (aside from Negative Plane, obviously) is to The Devil’s Blood. Occultation’s songs are more streamlined and the guitar tone helps separate them from the pack. It also does the trick of leaving more space in the mix for the rhythm section, which is a lot more active than in most doom bands.
The two female vocalists are generally pleasant to listen to. They stay within a comfortable area of their range, which means that even in the higher-pitched lines, there’s no sense that either one of them is stretching to hit notes they aren’t equipped to hit, or that they’re artificially emoting when it isn’t necessary.
My favorite track on the record is “Dreamland in Flames”. The chorus contains a beautifully sung melodic line which floats above the busy drumming and heavy rhythm guitar. For a band that hasn’t been together long, they have a solid grasp on their group dynamic that shows consistently.
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