AN NCS ALBUM PREMIERE (AND A REVIEW): OCCULSED — “CREPITATION OF PHLEGETHON”
We invite you to enter a world of terrors, a world created from sound that spawns electrifying visions of horror and disease, of madness and mayhem, and of blood-freezing intrusions from spectral realms. We invite you experience Crepitation Of Phlegethon.
Through several previous track premieres we’ve already teased what lies within this new album by Atlanta-based Occulsed, but now we reveal the full album in all its macabre glory on the day of its release by Everlasting Spew Records. As someone famously said when contemplating the Brundlefly, “Be afraid, be very afraid”.
It takes a rare kind of talent to make an album like this one, a death metal album that creates such a viscerally disturbing impact, one that preys upon its listeners’ most deep-seated fears and does so in such thrilling and paradoxically enthralling fashion. Here, those talents are attributable to the trio of guitarist/bassist Justin Stubbs (Father Befouled, Encoffination, etc.), drummer Jared Moran (Gastric Phantasm and roughly 100 other bands), and vocalist Kenneth Parker (Maestus, Lodge of the Empty Bed, etc.).
We’ve previously attempted to describe the sensations delivered by some of the songs, and will embellish a bit ore here.
The music really is undeniably macabre as it moves through differing phases of death metal terror. The seething and swarming riffage is a dense and unnerving miasma of sound, which sounds like it was recorded in a sewer tunnel frothing with human waste. Especially when paired with riotous drumming it’s capable of creating vicious frenzies, seeming to manifest contagion run amok, cutting through life like a ruthless scythe, accompanied by abyssal echoing gutturals that make the impact even more hideous.
Weird, wailing guitar leads and solos (and occasional keyboard embellishments) spawn visions of miserable, mindless ghosts, contributing to the supernatural aura that surrounds even the most deranged spasms in the album. But the band also divert away from their paroxysms of gut-gouging, brain-mauling madness and savagery in other ways, using doomed chords that crawl and moan to enhance the music’s feelings of desolation, despair, and morbid gloom. Occulsed will slowly drag you into saturated pits of suppurating corpses in addition to subjecting you to maniacal assaults.
It’s all rotten to the core and as creepy as confinement in a coffin filled with wriggling maggots. But make no mistake, it will get you moving while it puts a chill on your skin. The toxic-toned riffing viciously jolts the neck, in addition to seething, swarming, and slashing, backed by booming and battering percussive savagery. The sharp pop of the snare moves the music in compelling ways, driving the course with sounds of hammering pistons, bewildering lurches, and scampering lunacy.
And the moods change as well, though almost all the moods are ghastly. The music is both predatory and hopeless, noxious and deranged, horrifyingly imperious and seemingly gleeful in its deviant revels. There’s also a well-placed interlude track (“Between Engorged Realities”) that’s tragically haunting, and album closer “”The Glory of Woe”’ becomes beautifully melancholy. Through nearly al of this, abominable screeches, gurgles, and growls radiate through the pestilential and dismal barrages of sound.
We can’t leave you to the un-tender mercies of the album without also paying a compliment to the band’s wordplay. Don’t just listen — pay attention to the syllable-stuffed song titles. They’re as fiendishly clever as the music.
Everlasting Spew will release the album on September 17th, in CD and digital formats, with apparel. The label recommends it for fans of Incantation, Morpheus Descends, Funebrarum, and Blaspherian. A vinyl edition is projected to be available by early 2022.
Physical – https://bit.ly/3iZB4HB
Digital – https://bit.ly/3BojFkd
This is exactly what I needed to stumble on right now. One of my sons’ classmates just tested positive for covid, and I’m freaking the fuck out as we hole up, worried that my worst fear from the beginning of this nightmare could come true, just as we’re prepping to leave this backwards-ass state.
This shit is a good soundtrack for what is sure to be a worried and sleepless night, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.
Hope everything turns out OK for you and your family, and that you have the support you need to ride through the anxiety and the health scare. We need both kindness and extreme music to get through. I too have had nights where the right NCS review or premiere has turned up at the right time, helping me through anxiety, worry, fear, anger and despondency. Hope you can all support each other to get through OK, and that despite this obstacle you get to where you are hoping to relocate to.
Thanks man; really appreciate it. It’s pretty astounding how amazing Islander and Co. are about coming through in the clutch with some solid tunes for sordid times.
Oh man, I am so sorry to read this. I hope your son and all of you come through this safe. When it’s possible to relocate, where will you be headed?
Thanks pal; fingers and all other flexible digits are crossed. We went to an urgent care this morning and discovered the entire state is out of rapid tests, so there may be an Oregon border run in our near future…
Thankfully I’m finished working out here, and my wife works from home, so we can cover their quarantine period well enough. We’re in the process of moving to a suburb just south of Nashville; better schools for the boys and closer to both sets of grandparents. I got a superintendent job lined up that I’m supposed to start October 4th; hopefully that can still happen, but obviously we’re in a bit of a holding pattern right now…
What a mess. In a place where the state won’t do what’s necessary to keep people safe and then can’t even make it possible for people to figure out whether they’ve been infected. It’s grotesque. Last I checked, eastern Oregon was a covid hot spot too, but maybe it will at least be easier to get tested.
Yeah, Eastern Oregon is pretty much just Extra-Western Idaho, but at least it has the benefit of being part of a state where elected leaders are taking Covid seriously and trying a strategy other than “Do what you want, I guess?”
That is indeed a very important difference!