The Occult – Necropolis (2018) REVIEW

After the release of their first full-length ‘Omega’ back in 2013 Russian hardcore hybrid The Occult began to shed their Converge influenced metal-blasted hardcore sound in favor of crust punk influenced ‘Entombed-core’. On their ‘III’ EP you could hear the ‘verge-isms leaking out the edges of their sound a bit but their huge sound, thanks to the hard work of Audiosiege/Brad Boatright, ballooned up towards Xibalba territory in terms of sheer death metal force and hardcore bombast. On ‘Necropolis’ The Occult have landed their boat in death/crust waters and come out a full-fledged death metal band that tries to sidle with Acephalix and Black Breath as much as it resembles an array of classic European death metal in approach.

The songwriting is still largely structured by 90’s pit metalcore and hardcore much like the aforementioned Xibalba but where that band leaned towards sludge and Bolt Thrower instead The Occult pull from their own pool of Entrails-like thunderous riffs just as much as they lean into post-Hatebreed breakdowns and Slayer-core riffing. The guitars aren’t really reaching beyond their pit-riffing and heaviness much of the time but the power of the production is absolutely felt. In fact it’s all so heavy handed that the only nuance that survives are the waves of groovy riffs and dual-growled vocal horror.

Heavy for heavy’s sake is an essential part of this type of hardcore and if a band is going to be called ‘Entombed-core’ they’d better deliver this hard after this point because The Occult set a nice high bar for Swedeath HM-2 guitar-rumbled hardcore on ‘Necropolis’. I don’t think the riffs or the songwriting will blow your mind as much as the sheer sound of the recording. ‘Necropolis’ manages to get in, get out and leave a huge crater where they played. That should be enough for any metalcore/hardcore fan at some point.

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Artist The Occult
Type Album
Released February 21, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Follow The Occult on Facebook
Genres
Death Metal, Hardcore

Descending into inferno. 3.0/5.0

 

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