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Abhor: Occulta religiO

For those who are wondering, I’m not typing the title wrong. It’s meant to have that capital O at the end. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but I suspect that it has to do with Abhor’s longstanding interest in all things esoteric. Patterns are important and so we’ll keep each O exactly where it needs to be.

As for the band, Abhor is a highly respected Italian black metal band that formed back in 1995. To date, they have released seven albums on various labels. The band has always maintained close ties with the black metal underground and their music certainly has no interest in attracting broadly commercial audiences. Fans of the band will be glad to hear that this release is consistent with the band’s overall vision and that the songwriting is solid and the performances strong. On this album, released through Iron Bonehead, the band’s sound may have a little more polish but it never compromises the band’s raw edge. If anything, the clarity here makes the band’s strengths stand out even more. Every track (the band calls them spells) shows off the band’s signature occultism both in musical style and in the lyrics. I really liked the way the organ added not only some cool layers to the band’s sound but also added to that essential sense of mystery. I was less fond of the vocals but I don’t think any other style would do here. I don’t mind rasping vocals by any means, but some of the guttural noises here were pretty crazy. Still, this is a very strong release from a band with a well-deserved reputation. I especially enjoyed “Occulta religiO,” “Black Bat Recalls,” and “Elemental Conjuring.”

Track Listing:
1. Elemental Conjuring
2. Fons Malorum
3. Engraved Formulas
4. Demons Forged from the Smoke
5. Exemplum Satanicus
6. Black Bat Recalls
7. Occulta religiO

Added: May 31st 2018
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 953
Language: english

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