Aluk Todolo – Occult Rock

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Review by Jason Guest

The Ajna Offensive (USA) / Norma Evangelium Diaboli (Europe)

Any band that thinks of themselves as a power trio needs to give this a listen and re-think what they take power to mean because what Aluk Todolo do with guitar, bass, and drums is phenomenal. Their sound is colossal, vast, as gigantic and immovable as a mountain. Written between 2009 and 2011 before being recorded live in the studio in February 2012, album number three from Aluk Todolo is 85 minutes of hypnotic and unbelievably heavy instrumental music.

Minimalist in approach, the tracks move like tectonic plates, the subtleties of the gargantuan shape-shifting compositions overlapping and intertwining to make for an overwhelming experience. Psychedelic, tribal and enthralling, in its calm tranquillity and its most passionate zeal, the occult ambience of this piece is both devastating and exhilarating, the rhythms, dynamics, moods, textures, tones and timbres compounded with a meditative determinism that make Occult Rock more a devout undertaking than simply a listening experience.

The astounding production means that each instrument weighs a ton and the sound retains the organic feel of the long-in-gestation tracks. To experience Occult Rock is to be caught in a mesmeric trance, the senses and the spirit stirred from eternal slumber and transported to some higher plane of fervent, exuberant, spiritually-charged activity that transcends the nothingness of being. Give yourself this and 85 minutes alone. You’ll see what I mean…

9 out of 10

Track listing:

Disc one:

  1. Occult Rock I
  2. Occult Rock II
  3. Occult Rock III
  4. Occult Rock IV

Disc two:

  1. Occult Rock V
  2. Occult Rock VI
  3. Occult Rock VII
  4. Occult Rock VIII

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