A recent discovery for me is the death metal outfit Okkultist from Portugal. Apparently Fernando Ribeiro from Moonspell saw a lot of promise in the band, because he signed them to Alma Mater Records, Moonspell‘s own label, to release their debut album ‘Reinventing Evil‘.
Album opener and title track ‘Reinventing Evil’ throws you right into the maelstrom. No atmospheric intro, nothing to put you in the mood. Just an immediate kick in the face and from then on you get a never-ending stream of rather old school sounding death metal blasting washing over you with touches of thrash and black metal to spice things up a bit. And don’t forget the groove, a lot of groove! Which is what most likely makes this album so approachable to me despite it being relatively straightforward death metal.
At times they remind me a little bit of for instance the Brazilian death/thrash band Nervosa, especially with frontwoman Beatriz‘ vocals being growled on top of the music. The whole thing actually drips of evil, fittingly so with such an album title. The music sounds at times dissonant and relentless, the vocals seem to be coming from some kind of demon that crawled out of the depths of hell represented by the impressive presence of Beatriz and the lyrics (typically so for death metal) handle occultism, evil, darkness, blood, killings and other horrors.
The vocals are also surprisingly legible, which makes tracks like ‘Back From The Dead’ and ‘Sniff The Blood‘ even more catchy than they already were. It makes you want to growl and shout along with foam and spit flying from your mouth. Okkultist must be quite a riot live, seeing as how riling up the music is and how easily you can shout along big chunks of the lyrics. It’s just damn smart music.
In all the death metal mayhem, the more dissonant almost black metal sounding track ‘Plasmodium Nocturnus’ near the end of the album is an absolute pleasure. Also their cover of Bathory‘s ‘Satan My Master‘ is a perfect fit to end the album. If you didn’t know it was a cover, it might just as well have been a track written by them!
Okkultist is a damn pleasure to listen to. Their debut album ‘Reinventing Evil‘ grooves, blasts and batters relentlessly down on you with an old school death metal sound that kicks ass! They may not have literally reinvented evil, but this album still drips with it…
Release date: March 15th, 2019
Label: Alma Mater Records
- Reinventing Steel
- Back from the Dead
- Sniff the Blood
- Sign of the Ripper
- I am the Beast
- Grave Digger
- Plasmodium Nocturnus
- Rise and Reign
- Satan my Master (Bathory cover)