Parturition Of Adulteration
Review by Carl on November 14, 2023.
Because I quite enjoyed their "Crepitation of Phlegethon" full length, I got curious about their earlier output, which further consists of a couple of demo's and online singles, it all looked like a lot of effort to get together. Good thing there's a compilation like this, giving me the chance to complete the Occulsed discography in one go. Which was nice.
Occulsed operates in the black and murky depths of darkened old school death metal, a domain where the likes of Undergang, Tomb Mold, Cryptworm, Fetid and Cerebral Rot also dwell. Occulsed uses the usual building blocks of downtuned chainsaw guitars and a deep purulent grunt to build up tracks that go from battering velocity underpinned by blasting percussion, to slowly creeping heavy doomed-out sections, and back again. With riff work reminding me of bands like Incantation, Autopsy and Imprecation, the band creates a suffocating whirlpool of dark death metal guitar ooze, where stomping midtempo and furious buzzsaw speed at times get interwoven with a sort of haunting almost-melodies, establishing an atmosphere of unease fitting for the style. Throughout their dense take on the style, I also hear a faint influence of Mayhem's "De Mysteriis..." album, adding even more of a darkened edge to the material, but in a track like "Paralytic Salvation", the influence of the oldest works of Cannibal Corpse rears its head. All these influences meld together in a style of death metal that leans as much on bludgeoning heaviness and suffocating darkness, as it does on remorseless brutality. It's a trick that a lot of Occulsed's brethren use in their music, but it works here just as good, originality be damned.
Because we are talking about demo material, the (probably DIY style) production is pretty rough, which turns out to be a double-edged sword. On the one side, all of this sounds pretty authentic throughout, with a real early 90's underground feel hanging over the material, but on the other side, the unbalanced mix tends to make proceedings kinda chaotic here and there. And I'm not talking about the good kind of chaotic like Blasphemy or Conqueror can be, but a confusing kind, giving the whole a somewhat messy and unfocused edge. The snare is very prominent in te mix, but the rest of the percussion not that much, making the guitars and vocals sound detached from the drums at times. Coupled with an execution that is a bit on the sloppy side at times, this creates a somewhat loose feel, as if the music comes apart at the seams. Mind you, it's certainly not unlistenable, the music is there for sure, it's just a bit rough on the details.
Now, the music on offer may not be the most original, while the production is probably not the best either, but this collection still has oodles of charm to it. If you're into traditional death metal and the bands mentioned above, this should be right up your alley.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10175