Occult Rock

Sabbath Assembly – A Letter of Red Review

Sabbath Assembly – A Letter of Red Review

“In what should be considered a minor achievement, Sabbath Assembly are dropping their seventh album, A Letter of Red, with the identical lineup as 2017’s excellent Rites of Passage. This is the first time these strange occult-rockers have kept a static lineup, and that means we hope for an album of equal or better quality than the previous (which was a favorite of mine that year). However, the band makes it clear in their lead-up to the album that they are throwing a few change-ups our way: shorter songs, tight production, and a leaning towards 70s hard rock rather than the prog rock they treated us to on Rites of Passage. With the pedigree present, I’m sure they can pull off anything they attempt–can’t they?” Come back to the Sabbath?

Magic Circle – Departed Souls Review

Magic Circle – Departed Souls Review

“There’s no shortage of bands tunneling their way back to the past for inspiration. Magic Circle is among the pit crew delving deep into the 70s for influences, with their sound straddling the line between early Black Sabbath and rock royalty like Deep Purple. Featuring members of ,b>Sumerlands, Pagan Altar, and Doomriders, this is a bit of a super project, and on third album Departed Souls they do their best to defile all the right crypts of doom lore to arrive at something that smells fresh enough to wear about town without shame.”

Superlynx – New Moon Review

Superlynx – New Moon Review

“Stoner doom can frequently be heard in the House of Cherd. I enjoy it in my rotation, being, as I am, of Doom. Mrs. Cherd, however, takes particular delight in it. Whenever we’re doing housework to one of her playlists, it’s not uncommon for three Windhand songs from different albums to be followed by Bongzilla, then Electric Wizard, all while she promises that there are other genres in there and the next song probably won’t be stoner doom.” Family friendly doom.

New Light Choir – Torchlight Review

New Light Choir – Torchlight Review

“The occult/psychedelic movement has been quiet this year, and when it has made noise, that noise has been like bathwater: tepid and lukewarm. Aside from a small handful of notable exceptions, when you search the site for occult rock or psychedelic rock, you find a ton of 2.5s and 3.0s. Not the most fun in the world. But North Carolina duo New Light Choir aim to change that here with their third album, Torchlight. While their first two albums showed promise, there was obvious room for growth, both in production and songwriting. But as is the case with pretty much every genre, it is easy to take things into parody range. Worshiping too hard at the retro altar usually doesn’t work out.” Worship the olden riffs.

Lucifer – Lucifer II Review

Lucifer – Lucifer II Review

“Now is the summer of my discontent. Not only because the sun incessantly threatens to ignite my beard, but having reviewed too much of one thing, the urge to consume an entirely different animal has reared its ugly head. Borne atop a moldering mound of lesser reviewers by those most metal of saints, I spied a beckoning light in the recesses of the perdition manifest we affectionately call the promo pit. Said bastion was none other than German-based doom/rock act, Lucifer, and their compactly titled second album, Lucifer II.” The Devil you should get to know.

Acârash – In Chaos Becrowned Review

Acârash – In Chaos Becrowned Review

“When a band comes out of the woods calling themselves an occult rock band, I can’t help but think of Ghost. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly think of Ghost when I think of occult rock (I more think of those odd, ritualistic LaVey recordings I’ve heard) but that seems to be the way many o’ metalhead think. The silly Satanic lyrics, the soaring vocals and the doomy, gloomy, rocking, old-school riffs of Opus Eponymous are what people associate “occult rock” with these days. On the immediate surface, Norway’s Acârash don’t disagree with this assessment of occult rock but, boy, do they have a darker, blacker outlook on the style.” Ghost reveries.

Jess and the Ancient Ones – The Horse and Other Weird Tales Review

Jess and the Ancient Ones – The Horse and Other Weird Tales Review

Avatarium went from retro doom to 60s rock in the span of 3 albums, and over their own 3 album run, Jess and the Ancient Ones voyaged from occult 70s rock/metal to what they’ve become on The Horse and Other Weird Tales – tripped out 60s hippie rock with nary a metal influence to be found.” Find your inner hippie.

Monolord – Rust Review

Monolord – Rust Review

“While we didn’t review their slightly overhyped debut, Empress Rising, our beloved Roquentin took a look at 2015’s follow-up, Vænir, and liked what he heard. Monolord, as a name, suits these guys perfectly, as they are beholden to only one lord, and that is the Lord of the Riff. Since they hit the scene they’ve been bringing massive, fuzzy variations of Black Sabbath/Electric Wizard worship to the table.” That table can’t hold such massive riffs.