So what is the difference between the music some describe as "occult" and that which we know as "doom"? Well that is a question that has played on Desert Psychlist's mind for a while now and to be honest we have no definitive answer for you, both are tied up in one way or another with mystic lyrisicm, dark atmospherics and growling low end but why one is one and the other is the other is still somewhat of a mystery. Maybe Oslo's Tempelheks can clear up this riddle, the Norwegian quartet, Martin Horn Sørlie (vocal & guitar), Sindre Øhman (guitar),Magnus Bjørnstad (bass & backing vocals) and Håkon Bergh (drums & percussion), bill themselves as a psychedelic and occult heavy rock experience so maybe their latest release "Midnight Mirror" (released on Cursed Tongue Records 03/08/2018) will shed some light on the matter.
Well the question of what is doom and what is occult gets even more convoluted and confused as the opening notes of first track "Gates of Python" assails the ears, here we have a song that has a dark crunching doomic core yet throws into that core bluesy guitar colouring and elements of epic metal grandiosity then totally throws a spanner in the works with a vocal that would not sound out of place coming from the stage of a 60's folk club. Maybe things will become a little clearer on next track "Bury Your Children" but that thought is stopped in its tracks by a 70's hard rock groove accompanied by a vocal that brings with it visions of bearded men, wearing Aran sweaters, fingers placed in ears, singing salty sea shanties. And so it goes on right through all ten tracks, of Tempelheks "Midnight Mirror", the band mixing up delicious and delightful cocktails of doomic dankness and hard rock bluster sprinkled with superbly effective folk-rock vocal colourings that, on first listen, may seem a little quaint and slightly odd but if persevered with soon reveal their true rural occult beauty and majestic doomic power.
Ok the question posed at the start of this review of what is doom and what is occult, has not really been answered here but who cares, just enjoy "Midnight Mirror" for what it is, damn good music that is a little off the beaten track and all the better for it.
Check it out ….
© 2018 Frazer Jones