At first listen, this record sounds like it might have come out thirty years ago, but it's actually brand new. Yeah, I know. It's hard to believe that three dudes from Canada were able to unearth the spirit of eighties black/thrash in a fucking basement somewhere, but that seems to be the case. Obviously you can already guess who inspired this band, acts like Holocausto, Venom and Sarcofago among many others – although I admit I'm hearing an awful lot of venom from this performance and that's just fine. This is actually the band's first full-length album and I'm enough of a believer in it to think that it'll even make old heads believers too. I'm just amazed by how lofi the production value on this thing sounds and how classic each track comes across. Joel Thomas is a hell of a scowler, who puts a lot of passion into his work. I'm even hearing some Mercyful Fate there when he hits the highs. You could also consider Mercyful Fate an influence here, and by all means early Bathory as well. Did I cover all the bases? Good. Dan McLoud's riffs sound literally like the very best of this genre, bringing in all the memorable thrash and gallops of the eighties roaring right back at us in all of their retro quality. Again, this record sounds like it was made in 1983, which is also why Dan Lee's drums sound like rat-tat-tats throughout the performance. The eighties weren't necessarily about destroying the kit, they were about really showing what you had on the guitar and delivering a great performance overall. You had to have riffs, because you couldn't get by with some of the other things that you can get by with in metal now. If there's one other musician that I think would dig something like this, it would be Sigh's Mirai Kawashima. He absolutely loves shit like this and posted online asking for some band requests a while back. So Mirai, if you're reading this; I can assure you that you're going to dig this one. It might be a new band, but these guys have truly captured that whole raw aesthetic that heavy metal music used to be. The songs aren't bland either, they actually have structure and purpose instead of just trying to utilize the same tempo or style for every piece. The fact that I am once again hearing real “riffs” make me very happy, in addition to some really incredible and quite audible guitar solos, despite the crackly production. If you're interested in getting your kids into metal and showing them what the music really is, and what it sounded like in it's prime, give them a copy of this. Occult Burial captures all the best of the genre's golden age in just a little more than a half an hour. I'd definitely give it a listen, even just for a history lesson. These guys show us what happened before Nu-Metal, Core, Djent and all that other stuff. Occult Burial is true heavy metal, hands down.
(9 Tracks, 31:00)