Occult doom is a niche style of music that got a lot of hype a few years back after the breakout success of bands like Ghost and Blood Ceremony, who threw back to other bands like Coven and Black Widow. Though the style is undoubtedly steeped in retro worship and heavy costumes, it is undeniable in its coolness. On the surface The Hyle is another occult acolyte offering a record that substitutes surprises for tried and true charm. While this is half true, the depth at which The Hyle travels is more subtle than other acts of the same style.
The Hyle is stated to be devoted to the teachings of Robert Fluud, who was a 15th century astrologer and occult philosopher. Little is known about the project except for shadowy pictures and even more shadowy concert photography. Though the music rides a stoner groove, The Hyle seems to offer a little more in the way of interesting landmarks, including the resonating vocals on “Luciferno” and the twin guitar leads of “Children of the Divine.” Though this style has been well mined over the past couple of years, The Hyle comes out strong and makes a decent swing at the mountain of doom.
I am not going to lie, occult doom is one of my favorite varieties of music. I feel the combination of slow moving grooves and that worship of darkness is something that is enjoyable and hilariously fun. With that said, it is easy to get bored by this type of music because it is so easy to do. The Hyle takes the things done by other bands and manages to make them refreshing — giving me reason to fall in love with stoned demons once again.