Thursday, December 22, 2011

Execration- Odes of the Occult(2011)

Execration- Odes of the Occult

Norway is not well known for it's contributions to Death Metal. Outside of the criminally under-rated Molested, I struggle to name another act from the country of 20 hour work-weeks and very cold weather. But a band like Execration is very likely to generate some serious hype for the country seen as the birthplace of Black Metal. Operating out of Olso no less, Execration are band who have hit their stride with Odes of the Occult, a titan of a sophomore effort that vastly exceeds the bands previous efforts.

Odes of the Occult is an album that is hard to pin down: it is not the most original effort ever in terms of new ideas, but it mixes so many classic sounds together all at once, it clouds the way to the source of influence. Highly dissonant guitar work brings to mind Immolation at their most demonic, while sections of skull crushing Doom bring Asphyx into the picture, before mid-paced muscle riffs draw upon the soul of Bolt Thrower. Musically, everything about Odes of the Occult screams atmosphere, power and pure fucking aggression. The production is flawless, the guitar work equal parts technically complex and brutally substantial and the rythm sections does its job with the efficiency of an experienced serial murderer. The vocals are the definition of a mixed bag: at times the band makes use of a very competent guttural growl, but mostly the listener will be subjected to the vocal stylings a Martin Van Duren/John Tardy impersonator. I am aware that I am of a different opinion than most: a friend of mine describes this vocal style as "a madman with mercury in his throat, trying to scream it out." I describe is as a drunk and angry man with mental disabilities screaming for his Stretch Armstrong. Regardless, the vocals are a turn-off for me, and keep Odes of the Occult from reaching withering heights of greatness that musically it so clearly deserves.

Yet despite my disappointment with the vocal attack, Odes of the Occult remains one of my favorite releases from this year. If not strikingly original, it is as finely a crafted Death Metal album one can expect to listen to this year. An album that really doesn't need many more words than fucking excellent.

Rating: 9/10

1 comment: