Aluk Todolo - Occult Rock (Ajna Offensive/Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Embrace the rhythms of the cells between the spaces...
Release Date: 
20 Sep 2012 - 11:30pm

Aluk Todolo's album Occult Rock is a diffcult album to review; it's experimental, it's heavy (there's bags of overdrive and feedback) but I'm not sure if calling it 'metal' would be a fair call. It's an album that defies easy classification and to simply label it 'metal' would surely be too limiting. This eight track double CD (with all but one of the tracks passing the ten minute mark) wanders all over the place, exploring the void spaces of the listeners's mind. Personally I love it; from the almost black metal inspired opening chords of Occult Rock I through to the groovy bass stylings of Occult Rock VII and the dramatic, powerful Occult Rock VIII (yes, all the songs have pretty much the same title aside from the number at the end), it's a piece of work that can be both challenging and confronting. Or complete pants, depending on your point of view.
The entire album is a sonic assault with each musician contributing something unique to each song. Shantidas Riedacker forces the most insane sounds from his guitar; it howls and screams as he filters it through a variety of pedals. All the while Antoine Hadjioannou leans in and pulls back with some incredible drum-work and Matthieu Canaguier's bass most definitely wants to kill your mamma.

But while I love this album, I think a lot of people may not be as enthusiastic. Some may put forth the proposition that the compositions are too similar, that the structures are repetitive, or perhaps that the whole thing is just too arty. However, like life, this album is a wholly subjective affair and therefore the individual's attitude towards this album will be utterly unique. Love it. Hate it. Whatever you like. The artwork for Occult Rock borrows heavily from the sigils of John Dee and therefore by extension the music must surely make an excellent addition to your next entheogenic ceremony. Why not devour some 'flesh of the gods' and give it a go? I did and now I'm in communion with all manner of sprites and spirits. Nurse! Get these non-corporeal beings off of me....NURSE?!