Infusing 80’s American punk with 90’s rock n’ roll and alt-metal, Montreal, Canada’s THE OCCULT is gearing up to release their debut self-titled album on August 19th, 2022. With this debut being the first step in what they hope is a long journey, the band has a lot to say and think people will really dig the tunes. With a conglomeration of influences, especially stuff from the Seattle region in the early 90s, The Occult presents something that is both familiar and fresh. Recommended for fans of Type O Negative, Life of Agony, Danzig, and Misfits, this wicked listen a damn fine ride. Jump in, check out our early stream and special track by track commentary below to see for yourself!
“It’s certainly dark but there are aspects of celebration in there. If you’re watching a zombie movie where the protagonist survives by killing everyone, it certainly causes for celebration. Finding the light in the darkness if you will. The record is no different.” – comments the band.
Amidst the dark lyrical content such as murder, politics, and disdain for religion, The Occult is ultimately a celebratory band. They like to ensure that people leave the show with a smile. Hoping that people will forget their problems and become fully immersed in the music, they look to provide a transcendental experience. Well rehearsed, they don’t get on stage and wing it, they are dedicated, passionate, and meticulous about their music.
For the most part, each of the band’s songs starts with the vocals, a chorus melody that needs music to be written around it. Once that core of the song is done the rest starts taking shape. The sole songwriter, Eric Savanis was surprised with how simple it was to write – natural and innate. Constantly writing, he finished the thirteen tracks in a few months.
Live band line-up is: Vocals: Eric Savanis, Rhythm Guitar & Back Vox: Rafael Corzo, Bass & Back Vox: Carlos Carvalho
Credits: Rhythm/Lead Guitar & Back Vox/Co-Lead on Dots Vox: Alex Klimatiris (Purple Meadow) / Bass & Back Vox: Gianni Berretta (House of Dusk) / Drums: Justin Piedimonte (Immortal Guardian, ex-The Chronicles of Israfel) / Guest Vocals on Planet Pisces: Lord Fez Khan (ex- Crosstitution, Double Cross)
Track by track commentary:
1. Watch you Die – Pretty self-explanatory if you ask me. Musically it’s very dynamic and certainly a favourite to play live.
2. In This Night – Probably a little less on the nose than the previous song but these themes are similar. The modulations in the verses were certainly accidental but still stand out as something that’s just really cool musically.
3. Deth Doll – A friend of mine had an old Facebook handle where she called herself Deth Doll. She was going through a time so I decided to write a song for her fictionalizing her name into a character that basically destroys whatever opposition is thrown in her direction. She loved the tune which was an added bonus for sure. Musically it’s got hints of Nirvana in the bridge with the off-the-kilt lead work that Alex threw in there. The rest is almost driving stoner rock but not in a way that’s embarrassing.
4. Strangling Republicans – The title says it all really. Musically it’s a pretty straightforward punk rock and roll tune with some metal overtones in the verses.
5. It’s Amateur Hour – Former Prime Minister and war criminal Stephen Harper sold arms to the Saudis a couple of months back and was quoted as saying “I’m really proud of this deal.” Saudi Arabia, as most people know, is known for its massive bombing campaigns in Yemen among other war crimes. The fact that Stephen Harper is proud of his hand in these war crimes is so disturbing it’s really beyond words. This song is a summation of the years he was in power and the fact that people like him can not only exist in society but thrive. It’s really a reflection of how deranged of a society we, unfortunately, live in. Musically it probably smashes the most, a great closer for our live shows.
6. 20 Years – There are 2 main themes here. The first was the experience that the people in Point Pleasant, West Virginia had when they started experiencing hauntings from a creature they ended up naming the Mothman. The other one was my friend’s inability to take care of herself at that point in time. This tune has a Joey Ramone-type chorus. Poppy in the best sense of the word.
7. Dots – My disdain for Christianity and all the poisons it pours into society. Ferocious high-velocity punk rock tune. Alex sang co-lead vocals on the verses and killed it.
8. Gotta Love Those Humans – Disdain for society’s need for conformity and its inability to welcome people that are operating out of the norm. The heaviest tune on the record, taking cues from Slayer and early Metallica among other things.
9. Dine with Me – This is about Monsanto and the crimes it committed and continues to commit in Pakistan and India where they created a suicide epidemic by putting farmers in a position of financial catastrophe. Another high bpm punk rock beating.
10. Team Satan – Highlighting, yet again, my disgust for the church and the slave religion that it imposes on the masses. Punk metal tune with a pretty cool bridge. Fun fact, there are about 60 guys screaming GO in the chorus which was a blast to record.
11. Planet Pisces – Students of Astrology know that one of the Piscean traits, that people born under this sign exhibit, is self-deception. Take that concept & blow it up by a thousand and you have Planet Pisces, a tale of insanity & contradictions. Musically there’s punk and some aspects of death metal. The Lord Fez Khan, formerly of Crosstitution, now in Double Cross, guest screams on this song.
12. Nicole – An exaggerated tale of a nightmare roommate that friends of mine had to endure. Musically it’s a blend of punk and metal with an anthemic sing-along chorus.
13. Occupy Unite – Based on the Occupy Movement from a couple of years back. Same as Nicole, high octane punk and metal. There’s a riff in there that I call a Soundgarden muscle riff. It makes me happy that their influence is in there somewhere.