Ockultist – Present Day Neglect [Sweden, Black / Sludge] (2017)


Self Released | 4-15-17

That is quite a sound. I have not been shy regarding my opinion on stoner doom and sludge as I feel the field is flooded with similar sounding bands and ideas. This is not unlike other styles such as black and death metal though stoner doom feels tired and worn unless completely onboard for the sound. This is why a band like Ockultist is intriguing as the shackeling between stoner sludge and black vocals works so well I am wondering why this hasn’t been more of a thing.

Let us clear some things up, if you travel down the spiral of stoner doom and sludge you are going to get some harsh vocals perhaps even to what sounds like black vocals. Ockultist is strange since the band seems to be operating outside of any demarcation line by embracing both black metal aesthetics and the emotional despondency of sludge. Songs like “Cross Fucked” have such an acerbic and hypnotic tone that it is puzzling how this combination hasn’t been further explored. I could see a world where bands like Eyehategod and Darkthrone share in existential discomfort.

Present Day Neglect is a fantasdtic record for anyone willing to travel outside of the genre that are conventional. Though Ockulist doesn’t bend sound in any historic way, the simple effectiveness of hate greased by hate feels natural. It is funny to talk about metal as when things work there is a tendency to want to use negactive adjectives. If this is convention then Ockulist is terribly in every way you weren’t expecting.