Riti Occulti – Riti Occulti (Epidemie Records)

Immersive blackened heavy limbed bass riffs for lovers of psychedelic influenced stoner, black and doom metal.

The dominant distorted bass is chunky, rich and filthy. The suffocating groove it drags behind it is infectious, conjuring images of darkened smoky rooms full of shuffling swaying bodies. A synthesizer lingers behind, developing a psychedelic edge to the blackened morass, leaving sparse space for the floating meditative female operatic vocals to linger. Pushing through the tar thick sound, the primary guttural vocals growl throughout acts as a thread weaving the music into a ritualistic whole. 

The heavy richness of Riti Occulti comes from their beginning as the musical pairing of a drummer and a bassist. As oil flows over water, Riti Occulti's debut self-titled album rarely commits to anything higher than the base of your spine.  The low bass riffs take precedence in each song, with a good balance of tempo changes that allow the synthesizer and vocals to lift the song before driving it back down again deeper than before. Crouching in the pit of your stomach for fifty minutes, time becomes relative with this promising release. 

The first track on Riti Occulti, It's all Grey, takes a visceral pleasure in the heartbeat of the drums, slowing your heavy limbs to meet the possessive groove of the bass riff. Revelation provides an expansion of the album to some tortured tempo changes, before I'm Nobody introduces itself with a quote from the infamous Charles Manson and a driving synthesizer over whisper-level growls before properly introducing the haunting operatic vocals of Elisabetta Marchetti. Alcyone provides a good contrast of the two female vocalists, with Serena Mastracco's deep screams mingling with the soulful echoes of her bandmate's mezzo-soprano lyrics. 

At the thirty minute mark Desert of Soul provides a brief respite dragging you to your feet to dance with the sharp metallic sound of the Bouzouki, driving rhythmic drums  and a haunting flute, before forcing you back down to clawing at the ground. The flute once again briefly flies over the darkly ceremonial drums of Bitter Awakening, before it is captured and presumably offered as sacrifice. Riti Occulti ends as it starts, with Never a Joy bringing back the heavy limbed collapse of the earlier tracks.

Esoterically black and dense, this first full-length release by Riti Occulti is an immersive experience for lovers of psychedelic influenced stoner, black and doom metal.

Riti Occulti is out now on Epidemie Records.