[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Ancient VVisdom - Sacrificial (Magic Bullet)
I challenge you to find a more catchy Occult Rock release this year. The third album from this Cleveland/ Austin trio takes the band’s older acoustic neo-folk leanings and adds some serious crunch to create an almost doom-like sound. The riffs are simple, but fantastic nonetheless, and the lyrics and vocals will get stuck in your head for days. Check out “Chaos Will Reign” and “Worm Ridden Skull” and you’ll be singing along by the second chorus.
Inter Arma - The Cavern EP (Relapse)
A single 45-minute track is a daunting challenge for the band and the listener, but this Richmond, VA quartet is up to the task. Following up on last year’s fantastic Sky Burial, Inter Arma punishes the listener with an epic track that never loses steam and never gets boring. There’s a lot of doom and a bit of sludge, with some nice mellow interludes and harsh vocals. I don’t think I’ve ever made it through Dopesmoker in one listen, but I made it through this one, so that’s a plus in my book.
Occultation - Silence In The Ancestral House (Profound Lore)
The NYC trio returns with their second album, a traditional doom offering that combines elements of NWOBHM and progressive metal to create something a bit different from your typical doom release. The female vocals add a nice touch to the proceedings and the acoustic passages break up the heavier riffing, making for an overall enjoyable listening experience. This isn’t your typical crushing doom album, but it’s definitely worth check out.