Aluk Todolo Occult Rock

Aluk TodoloOccult Rock
Despite being only eight tracks in length, Occult Rock is a hefty double album, as all but one of the songs are at least ten minutes in length. The experimental French black metal trio continue to develop their distinctive sound with this slab of noise — a signature aesthetic that borrows a lot of tone and texture from drone, funeral dirge doom and atmospheric metal, but delivered at a much more aggressive and acerbic pace. The sheer length and difficulty of the album make it a ritual of endurance, as the sound bites and sprawls, spreading across a vast, prickly landscape. It's not all formless exploration, however; the last two tracks, especially "VII," have much more post-rock structures to them, and while they still swoop and grope, feeling themselves out gradually rather than following a fluid narrative, there's more of a sense of order, which is refreshing. This is a big and unwieldy album, but also one that feels uneditable, whole in its vastness. (Ajna Offensive)