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Riti Occulti: Riti Occulti

I often ask myself which bands started the craze for occult lore and imagery; Black Sabbath was probably an important one, though I'm sure there were plenty of others. These days, it seems as though every other new band wants to corner the market on occult themes and imagery. Such things are so common these days, they've become the common currency of the scene, clichés we all repeat and reprint. I don't mind; to me, part of the appeal heavy metal music, is its tendency to reach back in time and draw on the yearning, the poetic ambition, the oppositional intentions, of the Romantic authors. Most people want to know what the purpose of live and death are. Heavy metal certainly doesn't have the answers, but it loves to reflect on the questions.

The self-titled debut by Riti Occulti is one of those albums that are heavy on occult lore and thought. The name of the band, after all, sure sounds like "Occult Rites," a clear indicator that these guys are at least somewhat invested in the idea of transcendence through means alternative to the mainstream. It's always interesting to see whether there's anything new to such approaches to music. I kind of doubt it, but the mystery inherent to the subject matter is enough to keep bands and audiences interested. The most important thing, though, is the music. Who cares what some of these guys believe, who they vote for, what they eat for breakfast? The music is part of their lives, but is not limited to them. A largely collaborative act, making music goes beyond individual preference and thought and becomes part of the larger culture. The music on this album is pretty good, but works best when it strays from its blackened doom roots. I like blackened doom, but it gets old, especially on long tracks. The vocals here are screechy and anxious, broken up by grunts and the occasional throaty spitting noise. I didn't like them very much. At times, they were joined by a female voice that added a much-needed touch of melody and beauty to the mix.

The music is largely a drawn-out variation on droning bass lines, atmospheric organ passages, and crashing cymbals. It isn't bad; sometimes it even has an oddly relaxing quality as in the opening of "Bitter Awakening," also one of the better tracks. I would love to see these guys explore their interest in 70s psychedelia in future releases, mostly because it may help expand their sound into even more creative ventures.

Track Listing:
1. It's all Grey
2. Revelation
3. I Am Nobody
4. Alcyone
5. Desert of Soul
6. Bitter Awakening
7. Never a Joy

Added: January 5th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2076
Language: english

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