Friday, December 16, 2011

Skeletal Spectre - Occult Spawned Premonitions

Skeletal Spectre brought the October spirit just in time for Halloween with another cult-horror meets Swedish death metal release on the horror-obsessed label Razorback. Although Razorback recently lost most of their appeal as a record label (they lost most of their best like Ghoul and Revolting), Skeletal Spectre's newest delivers. Occult Spawned Premonitions is a bit more mature and fun than their chunky-as-fuck 2009 debut. That's not to say this album isn't chunky either, as the riffs are ridiculously dense and bassy, and once again they never reach past a slow-headbang in tempo.

Actually tolerable female vocals, headbanging, and simplistic fun describe Occult Spawned Premonitions pretty well. "Scalped" and "Master Of The Muck" set your neck in motion while "Raw Head & Bloody Bones" slows things down to a crawl, but that just means you're making less repetitive neck movements, not that they're stopping altogether. The mid-paced nature of Occult Spawned Premonitions leaves a bit of room to breath and keeps the atmosphere from being too doom-esque like that of Tomb Coven. Vanessa Nocera's vocals are surprisingly fitting, especially on tracks like the aforementioned "Scalped." They reach their peak prominence on "Untimely Tomb" though, and get a bit grating without treading into annoying territory.

The album is littered with hardcore influence, as is traditional Swedish death metal. "Screams from the Asylum" is the most obviously influenced with its D-beats. The bleeding over of the notorious Razorback sound is pretty apparent with the opening riff to the title track. It's relatively similar to Revolting's "The Devil Witch" from their 2011 release as well. I guess since Revolting is no longer on Razorback it doesn't matter, but it is something I noticed. Otherwise a worthwhile but somewhat forgettable cult-horror romp from a cult-horror themed record label.

7.0 out of 10


1. Scalped
2. Master of the Muck
3. Sekhmet Prowls the Azure Night
4. Raw Head & Bloody Bones
5. Untimely Tomb
6. Screams from the Asylum
7. Occult Spawned Premonitions
8. Domain of the Fleshless Ones

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