Review Summary: If hardcore sold its soul to Satan.
Hardcore is changing. Gone are the bands that made up the last wave of modern hardcore, giants like Modern Life is War, Verse and Have Heart. With so many bands jumping ship it only makes sense that other, more interesting bands will come to fill the void, and the turn of this decade has seen a fresh crop of new faces and even some older faces reemerge to take the limelight. It is safe to assume that after listening to Okkultokrati’s debut album ‘No Lights For Mass
’, 2010 will be known as the year that hardcore sold its soul to the devil.
Black metal inspired hardcore has not necessarily been a new phenomenon… well at least in the motherland of Norway. Bands like Haust, Nuit Noire, Maryrdod and Iskra and have been flying under the radar for several years and it’s just now coming to the attention of the States that these bands exist with rising stars like Kvelertak, Lesra and Black Breath. It goes to show that two genres that were never relatively dissimilar can be joined to form very impressive music: and impressive it is, while the term ‘blackcore’ is still a sight to behold, it cannot be denied that new type of subgenre is being formed and is quickly becoming recognized in today’s modern hardcore scene.
‘No Lights For Mass’ is a ridiculously evil album. I admit that my knowledge of black metal in general is bit lacking, but when I compare Okkultakrati to the surge of blackened hardcore acts out on the market they stand as a stark contrast to what is being put out. Second track ‘Ragnarokian
’ features a heavily doom metal influenced hardcore track, featuring minimalist guitar work, and a screeching front man that sends chills down ones spine every time he opens his mouth. The album titled track ‘No Lights For Mass
’ is the standout track found on the album, featuring black metal laced hardcore/punk that crescendos at the half way mark, with the listener being left with just tortured screams, before going back into a sludge metal influenced riff. Okkultokrati wear their influences on their sleeve and every track is a showcase of black metal, hardcore, doom and sludge metal forming into one.
Okkultokrati is a name that few will ever hear about, as their style of music is much less accessible than pretty much any other group riding the blackened hardcore wave out there. ‘No Lights For Mass’ is proof that hardcore has made a pact with Satan himself, as tracks like ‘Tomb City Rockers
’ can attest to. While some ‘kvlt’ purists might vehemently detest bands such as this, it cannot be said that Okkultokrati takes hardcore to newer depths that bands like Black Breath haven’t even scratched at.