RITI OCCULTI - Tetragrammaton

Riti Occulti - Tetragrammaton

9 songs
43:47 minutes
***** *****


In 2012, I was blown away by Riti Occultiís eponymous debut album. Then I somehow missed the sophomore effort Secta by this band from the Italian capital city Rome. Fortunately, I was back in time for Tetragrammaton that shows that the band is still just as mesmerising.

Although Riti Occulti, a quintet consisting of two female singers and three male musicians, are generally deemed a doom metal band, one should not even try to compare them to other genre bands. In fact, the Romans have a far more avantgarde approach. As in the past, the band stands out by having two female vocalists and no guitarist. The deep tuned bass takes the role of the guitar and drives the songs along, albeit in a sedate pace. Vocalist Elisabetta provides the high and clear voice and sometimes even adds soprano parts, whereas Serena is in charge of the harsh growls and at times even sounds like a man. The bandís gloomy, atmospheric sounds remind me at times of Celtic Frost, circa Into The Pandemonium. As I mentioned before, the pace is usually rather sedate, yet the sound is so brutal that you get the impression being run over by a steamroller.

Tetragrammatonís highlight comes with Adonai which takes up tracks two to five on the CD, but should be considered one epic track of twenty-three minutes, taking up a little over half of the albumís length. This monster track is extremely varied, starting with conjuring vocals that will snare the listenerís attention. Despite the sometimes strange voices, the band never falls into the trappings of operatic metal. Adonai comes with so many twists and turns so that listening to it never becomes tedious.

One canít stress enough that the Italian metal scene has been better than its reputation for quite some time now. Riti Occulti are one more excellent Italian band that have managed to constantly mature, resulting with Tetragrammaton, a doom metal album beyond compare. Last year, the recorded a strange cover version of The Beatlesí Eleanor Rigby, and one would have wished for this to be featured on the album, if only as a bonus track, considering that the album is not that long after all.

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