Koen S. : Okkultist became the first band ever to sign with Moonspells own label Alma Mater Records. Which means that Fernando Ribeiro and his comrades got a lot of faith in the young metal band from Lisbon. In 2017 the band released an EP, called Eye Of The Beholder independently (sold out in no time) and now they release their debut album Reinventing Evil. All this off course creates high expectations!
Okkultist does not beat around the bush and blasts like a hurricane through your speakers from the start with catchy death metal of the old kind. The straightforward but efficient song structures are letting you bang your head from the first to the last song. Sheer brutality rules during the fast parts, while there is created an infernal atmosphere during the slower fragments. The riffs are catchy, the bass is high in the mix and the solos are passionately played. The record as a whole reminds me of the work of Ancient Ascendant, the English band that unfortunately split-up in 2018. Although Okkultist plays their stuff with just a little more groove and the thrash influences are more pronounced.
Tue Madsen did an excellent job on the mix and that is no surprise, because he already did that before for bands such as Aborted, Heaven Shall Burn, Illdisposed, Kataklysm and Vader. The producer of Reinventing Evil was Pedro Paixao, keyboardist/guitarist of Moonspell and the artwork was designed by singer Beatriz Mariano. The limited digipak comes with a cover version of the Bathory song Satan My Master and that is a great addition to an otherwise enjoyable, swinging album. Okkultist did reinvent nothing, but they sure do sound evil.