Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Aluk Todolo - Occult Rock

Review by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.


Photo by Pedro Roque.

Despite being only eight tracks in length, Occult Rock is a hefty double album, as all but one of the songs are at least ten minutes in length. The experimental French black metal trio continue to develop their distinctive sound with this slab of noise — a signature aesthetic that borrows a lot of tone and texture from drone, funeral dirge doom and atmospheric metal, but delivered at a much more aggressive and acerbic pace.

Photo by Pedro Roque.

The sheer length and difficulty of the album make it a ritual of endurance, as the sound bites and sprawls, spreading across a vast, prickly landscape. It's not all formless exploration, however; the last two tracks, especially "VII," have much more post-rock structures to them, and while they still swoop and grope, feeling themselves out gradually rather than following a fluid narrative, there's more of a sense of order, which is refreshing. This is a big and unwieldy album, but also one that feels uneditable, whole in its vastness.

Photo by Pedro Roque.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 2012, Aluk Todolo, black metal, Natalie Zina Walschots, Pedro Roque, rock
4 comments:
  1. This album took me by storm back in April! So much that I wrote a post about it on my personal blog back then, and I quote:
    "...in its simplicity, there is a dark, rough atmosphere that calms you and takes you in. I love the mesmerizing almost droning pace of the songs [...] fierce monotonous riffing with delicate rise and falls accompanied with the, for the most part, monotone bass and a drummer that is insane! But for some reason the small variations that is present creates a pulsating force. And the effects added to the guitar takes your mind out to space, where time stops. You would think that 8 tracks with an average length of 10 minutes with a lot of repeated structures and with few variations during long time spans would make you lose interested quickly, but it doesn’t. It sucks you in, it captures you, it takes you on a journey."

    I'm happy to see Aluk Todolo available on Bandcamp and that they are finally present here!

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    1. Spot on description of the music Majbritt. It really is quite mesmerizing, best mix of drone and black metal.

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  2. Been obsessed with this album since it came out early last year. Listening to it while studying helped me pass Calculus. Did you guys happen to notice that the dudes in Oranssi Pazuzu also really liked this record? Listen to OP's Valonielu to hear what I mean.

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    1. Yep, some of the dronier parts on Valonielu does remind me of Aluk. Good stuff.

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