Occult Hand Order – Silence By The Raging Sea
Release Date: 20/10/23
Running Time: 42:31
Review by Oli Gonzalez
Up and coming French trio Occult Hand Order are on the eve of releasing their full length effort, “Silence By The Raging Sea”. A new band to me, but one perhaps I should be keeping an eye on. Especially given the contacts the band appears to have, as this album was mastered by none other than Cult Of Luna guitarist Magnus Lindberg. How many bands can say that they’ve had one of their idols and influences master their album?
As many of you will know by now, I’m a huge fan of Doom, Progressive, Post Metal, and anything heavy and unusual. I was excited to get my teeth stuck into this album. Sadly though, I was left a little underwhelmed. The doom metal is often criticised by songs just simply being too long and not progressing fast enough. I’ll step in and defend a lot of bands; after all, one of my favourites, Bell Witch have released two songs that are 83 minutes in length! However, Silence By The Raging Sea tested my patience too much. I wasn’t seeing enough evidence of compositional ideas progressing, nor variety in songwriting structures in there. The absurd length of some doom metal songs can be offset by guitarists/bassists investing heavily in their instrument tones and creating some absolutely crushing and mind-blowing textures and sounds. For Occult Hand Order, I felt the instruments just sounded too thin, and nowhere near as in-your-face as the genre dictates. In fact, I felt the production was far too thin and felt too flat at times. This may be a case of just not being an album to capture their instruments’ best tones whilst in the studio. The psychedelic effects on the guitars felt a little too experimental to me, taking more of a mad-scientist approach to song composition. As for highlights of the album, sadly I don’t really have one.
It genuinely pains me to write a sub-standard and negative review. Hopefully these comments can be used constructively and used to fuel a much stronger future effort.
05. Tidal Waves
06. Golden Bones
Hugo Zepah: vocals, bass
Nico Fabre: guitar
Tony Duvillard: drums
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