Review: Okkultokrati ‘La Ilden Lyse’

Black thrash has a long rich history, arguably starting with British legends Venom as the ‘proto’ band of the genre with their fast paced, gritty and frightening take on NWOBHM. The genre is comprised, unsurprisingly, of two major elements, black metal and ….Euro Pop. Just kidding, it’s of course thrash metal. It’s ugly, quick, abrasive and full of that fuck you attitude you associate with both genres.  The band that nails this perfectly in my opinion is Norway’s Aura Noir with classics records such as Black Thrash Attack and Out To Die.

Okkultokrati ‘La Ilden Lyse’

Norway’s where we are staying and we’re living that black thrash life with the brand new record from Olso’s Okkultokrati titled La Ilden Lyse which loosely translates as ‘Keep The Fire Burning’. Norway has history of course when it comes to groups like this, being the birth place of one of the most abrasive genres of music ‘Black Metal’. So can Okkultokrati channel that rich history and produce another glorious piece of nihilistic mayhem?  The record will be released via legendary label Southern Lord on the 15th of May.

La Ilden Lyse is the groups fifth full length and lean more on the hardcore punk side of the blackend thrash genre, think F.O.A.D era Darkthrone, or even cult black metal icon Abbath’s Motörhead tribute band Bombers.  The album kicks off with Thelemic Threat which introduces the belligerent and pummelling riff that is going to be a common theme throughout the record. It’s repetitive but rhythmic and fully draws you in. It’s almost hypnotic with commanding drums which really set the pace of the record. Vocalist Black Qvisling slays with his wraith like scream that’s washed out and sounds like it’s in a swirling vortex. It just nails the black metal aesthetic.

Thelemic Threat finishes with this evocative horn to segway into the second track Grimoire Luciferian Dream. No prizes for figuring out what this ones about! It’s a great track that’s more black ‘n’ roll than blackened thrash but is great none the less. It’s got this pounding kick drum that is impossible not to join in with, the vocals even more abrasive than before. Loathe Forever is accompanied with this really subtle synth that sits behind the whole record and adds an ominous tone. It just ticks all the boxes and it reminds me of the record’s artwork which shows a small light engulfed by darkness in a forest.

Black Qvisling slays with his wraith like scream that’s washed out and sounds like it’s in a swirling vortex. It just nails the black metal aesthetic…

Freezing Vortex Death Hammer continues the albums primitive sound alongside oodles of doomy goodness. The riff at the beginning of the track is killer with rasped vocals that Nocturno Culto would be proud of. It’s one of the standout songs on the record. The album continues at a similar pace before the highlight of the record, Kiss Of Death, which has all the teeth and attitude you want out of a record like this. It perfectly encapsulates that punk influence from bands like The Germs and Black Flag that are right at the heart of the group. Mother Superior continues down the same punk encrusted vein and kills it with these little tempo changes and drum fills, making for a really entertaining listen.

The albums rounded out by Lunatics – Mondsuchtig and closer The Dying Grass Moon which perfectly rubber stamps a fun yet grim journey. The initial vocal introduction on the closing track is an almost perfectly delivered black metal howl that just sends shivers down my spine.

Overall La Ilden Lyse does what it says on the tin, it keeps that fire burning in a scene that is pretty obsessed with its past. They take their influences and put their own frost bitten spin on them. If any of the above sounds good to you then this record is definitely worth a listen. So go grab some corpse paint, stick the record on and get grim as fvck!

Label: Southern Lord
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Matt Alexander