BiografieIt was 1990 when the bowels of the underground spewed forth Black Thrash Metal outfit Occult. Sephiroth, an underground Black Metal maniac and at the time also the drummer of Dutch Black Metal pioneers Bestial Summoning, conceived Occult to express his apocalyptic and suicidal emotions. This was way before the retro-thrash revival, which plagues the metal scene since the mid-nineties. However nothing materialized until 1992, when Occult had written their first songs and done their first live performance at the Black Flame Festival in Elsloo. The recording of this show resulted in a live-promo tape. Besides their own songs Occult also covered classic songs of Acheron (“Thou Art Lord”), Sathanas (“Jaws of Satan”) and Samael (“The Dark”). The line-up at this time was Sephiroth handling the vocal duties, Leon on guitars and Erik on drums. During live performances of the band the corpse painted Sephiroth was a raging maniac on stage.

In 1993 Occult recorded their first studio-demo, which contained four tracks. The demo led to a two-album deal with Foundation 2000 Records, a Dutch label, which had released the first albums Sempiternal Deathreign, Gorefest and The Gathering. A bass player, Sjors, had been added to the line-up in the meantime. The first album of Occult, released in 1994, was titled “Prepare to Meet Thy Doom”, which was a slab of Black Thrash Metal combining thrash riffs with some Scandinavian minimalism like in “Leader in War”. Rachel was added to the line up after the album, which resulted in two singers fronting the band: a male black screamer and a female growler. Then Occult joined “The Sons of Northern Darkness” tour of Immortal and Marduk in mid-1994 for some shows in The Netherlands, Belgium, England, France and Germany. Also gigs with Cradle of Filth, Ancient Rites and Desasater followed. Later a second guitar player called Richard also joined the band.

The second album “The Enemy Within” was recorded in 1995 at the Music Lab Studios in Berlin and produced by Harris Johns, who was also responsible for the cult albums “Pleasure to Kill” of Kreator, “Persecution Mania” of Sodom, “Consuming Impulse” of Pestilence as well as other classics of VoiVod, Tankard, Exumer, Assassin and Immolation. The album displayed more mature composing as well as a more deathlike sound due to Rachel’s deep death grunts. The songs of the band could be described as a mixture of Kreator, Slayer, and Pestilence (“Malleus Maleficarum”-era) with a slight Bay Area-touch. Many gigs and festivals were done by the band, which established their reputation as a real powerful heavy live band. One of the highlights in the existence of Occult was playing at Dynamo Open Air Festival in 1997, where they shared the Black Stage with bands like Satyricon and Dimmu Borgir in front of 16,000 people.

However after recording the two albums for Foundation 2000 Occult decided to find a new record label since they were not satisfied the way Foundation 2000 handled their business. In 1998 a four-track promo-CD was recorded at Harrow Studios (Asphyx, Pentacle, Soulburn and later Melechesh). This resulted in an immediate deal with Massacre Records for the release of their third album. “Of Flesh and Blood” was recorded at Realsound Studios in Germany (Sodom, Gorefest, Enthroned). The album was a more varied and technical effort with a heavier sound than the previous one. After this album was released, some major line-up changes occurred. Twan took over the bass duties. At the same time the members of the band were very dissatisfied the musical direction guitarist Leon, who had a dominant role in the song writing process, was heading to. The other members wanted a more brutal in-your-face approach instead of an over-emphasis of technical, melodic intricacies. So Leon was fired and Richard took over the song writing leading the band back towards total thrash domination. In 1999 Occult was asked to join the Christmas Tour in 1999 with the Death Metal gods Morbid Angel, Gorgoroth, God Dethroned, Krisiun and Amon Amarth. The band managed to convince the audience with their powerful all-out thrash attack during this successful European tour.

However months later Massacre Records kicked out Occult because of what seemed to be a major reorganization. After recording a new four-track promo-CD at Dreamworld Studios, owned by their sound engineer, the band got signed to Painkiller Records for their fourth effort “Rage to Revenge”. This album has proven to be the strongest record of the band ever. The sound is more brutal and heavy. The songs are more primitive, loaded with classic aggressive riffs in the ‘80s style, which bring to mind the old gods Slayer, Kreator, Protector and the resurrected Necrodeath. No melodic sissy crap but pure metal for banging. Just after the recording of this record Occult said goodbye to Rachel after seven years of service, since she had also become the lead singer of Sinister and it turned out to be impossible combining both bands. However reducing Occult to a four piece has turned out to be a blessing, which is also recognized by press and audience at the gigs. Live performances have become way more aggressive and intense than before. Occult has proven to belong to the true warriors devoted to and capable of delivering pure traditional Thrash and will not stray from their path. All hail devastating Thrash Metal!
Quelle: To Meet Thy Doom (1994)

The Enemy Within (1996)

Of Flesh And Blood (1999)

Violence And Hatred (2000)

Rage To Revenge (2001)

Elegy For The Weak (2004)



Elegy For The Weak - Cover
Boah Ey! Waren mir die Holländer OCCULT bisher nicht als führende Knüppelband geläufig, hat sich ihr Status (zumindest bei meiner Wenigkeit) mit diesem Album um Einiges erhöht.