Elegy for the Weak

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Occult are hell-bent on death metal if the frantic and manic "Disturbing the Dead" is some sort of demonic yardstick. Led by vocalist Maurice Swinkles, this quartet sounds possessed as drummer Erik Fleuren's bass drum is in constant motion. But Occult are multi-dynamic as they veer into a meaty, thick head-banging yet melodic rhythm halfway through. It is a brief respite from the neo-punk hardcore hue of both "Until the Battle" and "Nuclear Torment" as guitarist Richard Ebish leads the way into a dark, brooding musical forest. Despite the density of each track, Occult still manage to plant several hooks to keep the listener interested. Such is the case with the powerful "Nocturnal Predator," which is a cross between Motörhead and Slayer. A similar mode occurs later during "Warbeast." This momentum continues on the slower but groove-riddled "Feel the Blade," although the lyrics aren't exactly something you'd hear in Sunday school. It also contains a certain arena rock-Metallica texture to it, especially during the chorus and bridge. This is polished and massaged later on during the pleasing rat-a-tat-tat of "Reapers Call." The first faux pas is the instrumental, industrial mess of "Expire," a song which should have died on the cutting room floor. Fortunately "Obsessed by the Grave" has enough growls and wails to complement the stellar musicianship that carries the gear-changing tune brilliantly. Another album-stopper is the gritty "Slut of Sodom" with its buzzsaw riffs and rapid visceral lyrics.

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