I got hypnotized for a while when I first discovered the monumental music of Riti Occulti. Their self titled debut album subjugated me to hail their miraculous music skills. Their second offering, “Secta”, a concept album that elucidates the Alchemical evolution from Plumbum to Argentum (Silver) and Aurum (Gold). Comparing “Secta” with the debut album, it can easily be avowed that the band has evolved much both in terms of sonority and concept.
Before moving to the actual review, this is to be informed that the band plays a meld of black and stoner/doom metal and they play it without having any guitarist. So, the last part of the previous statement may perplex others or it may influence other to carry the question – “how does the band sound without guitar?”. Well, it can surely be assured with one voice that with the exception of guitar usage, their sound is not inferior to that of any other peers.
“Nigredo” (blackness), the initial and the putrefaction step of the alchemical voyage has been named as the opening of the album. The track is a borrowing from “Tecum Principium“. Second track, “Plumbum” offers a slow paced experience and the usage of saxophone definitely provides a well platform to make it an interesting one. Elisabetta’s haunting voice flourishes the track properly. Thick bass line in the beginning part of “Stannum” actually reminds me of the extreme vibes of the bands like Mystifier, Mortuary Drape etc. The overall bass deliveries in the track together with the accurate drumming, hallucinatory effects of the synthesizers and the combination of the voice of Serena and Elisabetta bound me to consider it as one of the best tracks of the album. Seductive effects of the synthesizer and the enchanting bass rhythms present in “Ferrum” took me to the early acid,occult rock and Black Sabbath era. The music has truly turned as strong as the Iron (Ferrum) in this track. The mystic trip keeps running with “Aes”, “Argentum”, “Argentum Vivum”. Sudden necrotic screams of Serena may shiver the audiences in the “Argentum” track and obviously this is another favorite from the album. Second part of “Argentum Vivum” purveys an eerie, dark, ritualistic atmosphere that is really fascinating. In “Aurum”, the band successfully passes the steps of both Citrinitas and Rubedo. The goal of turning silver to gold has been achieved through it and ingeniously they have placed the mystique concept in their music. It is a bit confusing that why has the band named the last track as “Albedo” as it has been regarded as the second phases (phase of whiteness) and the band has already achieved their ultimate goal in the track “Aurum” where the silver has already been turned into gold.
It is always enjoyable to listen to the extreme metal bands who are not a leaf out of other’s book. Riti Occulti is truly one of them that develop their own sound. The lyrics are properly written according to the concept. Liquid bass work of Niccolò that engulfs the whole album never makes me feel the absence of the guitar. Soul-stirring voice of Elisabetta can be regarded as the voice of a white witch and the nefarious screams/screeches of Serena are enough to reincarnate the evil. Synthesizer? of course it perfectly balances the atmosphere of the album with the help of superficial (yet perfect) drumming. But what would happen if they had any guitarist? Who knows? Maybe more alluring or maybe not, but surely the album is highly recommend to the likers of black metal, stoner, doom and the early acid, occult rock.
By: Zoheb Mahmud
Released on: November 19, 2013
Label: Epidemie Records (http://www.epidemie.cz/en/)
|Niccolò Tricarico||Bass, Bouzouki|
|Sara Del Regno||Synthesizers|
|Serena Mastracco||Vocals (screams)|
|Elisabetta Marchetti||Vocals (clean)|