|Black Metal, Death Metal
Blood HArvest Records (2013), Self-release
September 14th, 2012 / August 30th, 2013
Release length: 18:07
“Infinituum” is nothing more than a minutes of humming before “The Temple of Lucifericon” kicks in with a very raw audio quality that finds a dull mid-pitch buzz on the guitars, decent bass that adds some extra bite, crisp and echoed restrained raspy vocals, and distant drums. Unfortunately these limitations really do hold back the grim, decrepit atmosphere the band is clearly going for in the slower passages, though the faster sections are a little stronger thanks to the complexities, catchy drumming, and some layering in the vocals. “Moon Over Fading Statues” feels this pain as well in the boring two-and-a-half minute introduction, being far from haunting thanks to the dull guitars and bass. When the track finally kicks in, you are greeted with some catchy hooks and bass rhythms against solid two-stepping, all accentuating additional Black Metal influences that help sharpen the experience a bit.
“Moon Over Fading Statues” actually ends in a way that it seamlessly bleeds into “Azazel’s Torch,” essentially linking the two song together. Fortunately, this track has a lot more power behind it than what came before it. The bass is really dominant in the slower sections, the faster passages have a little more complexity that sounds good, and the guitar solos are well executed. There are some hindered spots, but not enough to hurt the song, and also mark the last you’ll see of them on the release, as the enthusiastic “Deathtongue” is hands down the strongest of tracks present. The additional Black Metal touches and increased speed help make the bridges more effective, and the riffs a bit more venomous. Even the sudden changes in pace or groove are more infectious thanks to the energy the band obviously had in the studio, feeding the commanding drums and a few more solid solos.
The Occult Waters is one hell of a mixed bag, and it ends up being the fault of the audio. The dull instruments and rawer touch simply do not benefit the creeping or mid-tempo Death Metal performances at all, making the many grim and cryptic areas in “The Temple of Lucifericon,” and pointless introduction track “Infinituum,” nearly impossible to sit through. However, when the band starts focusing on Black Metal riffs, that bland distortion picks up some extra venom thanks to the performance and enthusiasm, as if the band knows this is when they are at their strongest and enjoy every minute of it. The Occult Waters is worth checking out at least once, but, unless you’re a collector, you’re better off waiting for a proper full-length, or for Lucifericon to drop the Death Metal bit and use a stronger distortion, whichever comes first.
01. Infinituum – 0:59
02. The Temple of Lucifericon – 3:40
03. Moon Over Fading Statues – 6:33
04. Azazel’s Torch – 4:24
05. Deathtongue – 2:32
|Initial Pressing Score: 3/10