Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SKELETAL SPECTRE - Occult Spawned Premonitions CD review

SKELETAL SPECTRE - Occult Spawned Premonitions CD
Razorback Records
Genre: Death Doom
Rating: 5/5

This Swedish Death Doom duo needs to be awarded for changing into a trio by adding Vanessa Nocera from WOODEN STAKE and SCAREMAKER as vocalist on this their sophomore release. That makes them now a Swedish/American trio. Some of you might not have known it but Vanessa was responsible for writing the lyrics for the band's 2009 debut Tomb Coven. On here she adds her unique vocal style which at times is bewitching and at other times threatening. Since I'm a fan of WOODEN STAKE then liking this one was a no-brainer. Along with Vanessa's song writing and vocal presence the band (which also consists of Behold the Pentagram on guitar, bass and backing vocals plus Haunting the Beyond on drums) has taken on an exceptional darker feel in their music. I have SKELETAL SPECTRE's debut and I can honestly say this is the stronger release of the two. While Tomb Coven sounded like ENTOMBED after a couple of bong hits (not a complaint from me) Occult Spawned Premonitions sounds like those premonitions have come true. The ENTOMBED influence is still here but added with CELTIC FROST which makes this pure death doom with a demoness on vocals.

While I think this whole release is incredible there are points of interest which stand out and make this more than a genre fan favorite. The opener "Scalped" brings forth some doom Americana with it's take on the revenge of Native American spirits upon those who desecrated their land. The song has a very unsettling monolithic feel as if you're lost out in the southwest desert high on shrooms and seeing the spirits swirling about. "Sekhmet Prowls The Azure Night" with it's filthy riffs by Behold the Pentagram is my favorite cut on here. It's like a black blob of demonic disgust flowing across the land consuming everything in it's wake. "Raw Head & Bloody Bones" is Tom G. riffs the size of behemoths which simply crush you to pulp. Added to that fun is Behold the Pentagram's solo which is more like a sarcastic laugh at all the carnage. "Master Of The Muck" and "Screams From The Asylum" are almost like crusty hardcore anthems played to a circle pit of zombies. Obviously the body parts would be flying if that were to happen. The title cut is an all out doom rocker with a riff that sounds like sandpaper rubbing against flesh and Vanessa's witch vocals spitting out venom. The final and longest cut on here, "Domain Of The Fleshless Ones" simply resembles it's title. It's something better left to a bad nightmare. All of that makes Occult Spawned Premonitions one of the best releases of 2011.



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