Sunday 11 December 2022

Ocultum - Residue

Labels: Self-Released/Black Bow Records/Interstellar Smoke Records

Formats: Digital/CD/Vinyl

Release Date: 06 Sep 2019


1. The Acid Road

2. Residue

3. Ascending With The Fumes Of The Dead

4. Reflections On Repulsiveness

It's bloody freezing here! It's just turned cold over the last few days and yesterday I had to be out at 5am to work. I started writing this review on Friday evening, as I wanted to jam some slow and heavy tunes from Chilean doom/sludge trio Ocultum. This is a band that came to my attention recently, but that actually formed back in 2009. Since their formation, they've released a single, two full-lengths (including this one) and two live albums. Residue was originally self-released digitally in 2019 before being released a year later on CD via UK label Black Bow Records. Earlier this year, it was reissued on vinyl by Polish label Interstellar Smoke Records.

Heavy, grooving bass/guitar kicks off Residue on opener ‘The Acid Road’ and with it, you’re instantly dragged back to a time when Black Sabbath ruled their airwaves. Ocultum’s take on doom/sludge is more extreme, as is the way in South America. It has a rawness that’s brought alive by the harsh vocals and powerful drumming, but also a heap of warmth due to the trio’s psychedelic edge. 

All four of the songs on Residue are pretty lengthy with the title-track (and the opener before it) almost reaching the ten-minute mark, while the other two songs go even further. Back to the title-track though; ‘Residue’ majors on the trio’s instrumental prowess with the vocals used only when necessary. 

The album’s latter half is where things become the most mesmerising, with even doomier music and knuckle-dragging clean vocals that nestle amongst it all on ‘Ascending With The Fumes Of The Dead’. It’s so easy to get lost and to overlook this form of metal given the sheer amount of releases that give you instant gratification, but if you do you’ll be doing it at your peril as this release is super loud and oppressive in all the right ways.

Album closer ‘Reflections On Repulsiveness’ is by far the gnarliest song on Residue by mere virtue of the vocals being so low tone-wise at first, before launching back into those gargled growls once again. There’s plenty of atmosphere generated via the melodic guitar work. It’s minimalistic appearance is very effective, making this song sound a lot dirtier and more true. 

This is a beast of a record. Experiencing it over three years after it’s original release doesn’t do any harm at all, as Ocultum is very much a band for the ages. If you enjoy your slow, mournful music and like heaviness then you’ll do yourself a favour by giving this album, and this band your time.

You can stream and purchase Residue directly from Ocultum below:-

Vinyl copies can be purchased from Interstellar Smoke Records here -

Ocultum -

Interstellar Smoke Records -

No comments:

Post a Comment