Occultation: Silence In The Ancestral House

Occult-styled rockers pledge allegiance to the metal classics

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Although this New York trio often get hit with the ‘occult rock’ stick, they’ve got more in common with the likes of Hour Of 13 or Portrait than they do with the current hordes of Hammer Horror acts worshipping Coven and Black Widow.

Occultation have the requisite female singer singing songs of mystery and magic, but this is heavy metal, any way you slice it. Sure, there are hard rock and even prog influences, but the spectres of Sabbath, Candlemass and Mercyful Fate loom large over this bubbling cauldron of arcane atmosphere. The follow-up to their well-received 2012 debut album Three And Seven once again dishes up a fusion of darkened melodies, intricate riffs and moody vocals backed by a wonderfully warm old-school production courtesy of Kurt Balou (Converge, Beastmilk). After a suitably spooky King Diamond-style intro the band dive headlong into a dungeon of doom stuffed with inventive arrangements and sudden tempo shifts that, while strongly suggestive of the aforementioned Mercyful Fate and even early Iron Maiden, have a spark of life that’s their own.

Via Invictus