Nordic destroyers Okkultokrati lay down punishment with punk, metallic power on ‘La Ilden Lyse’

Photo by Remy Eik

People want to let loose and get out some energy, and I can tell that’s true because I have numerous neighbors who have decided fuck it, let’s have a party and mash as many people together as possible with no one taking any precautions. It’s nerve wracking. Here’s the thing: There are way safer and better ways to burn your extra fuel, and you don’t have to put yours/other people’s lives in jeopardy!

Very soon, you can jump right into the dangerous waves given off by Okkultokrati on their latest record “La Ilden Lyse,” which translates to “keep the fire burning.” This album blends black metal, noise, punk rock, and other elements into the Nordic’s band’s fifth full-length and first since 2017’s “Raspberry Dawn.” The record is a mauler that gives you little to no time to breathe as these nine songs take control of your life over 46 minutes. The band—vocalist Dionysiac, guitarists Black Race and Empyrean, bassist Le Ghast, keyboard plater Azoth, drummer Verminscum—is on fire here, mixing their brand of chaos with so many different textures and abrasion going on that it would maim you in a live setting. But we don’t have those right now, so let the band melt your eardrums via your stereo speakers or headphones instead and allow them to mess up your mind.

“Thelemic Threat” creaks open before riffs blow the goddamn walls down, and the vocals scrape at your eyeballs. There’s a thick punk vibe in the center of the track, and the chaos and reverbed shouts do a number on your psyche. Punches continue to land as the pace burns, and a strange horn in the fog takes the song to its end. “Grimoire Luciferian Dream” not only is a great song title but it greets you with buzzsaw guitars and snarling growls. The pace is catchy but brutal as is burns and punishes, feeling like you’re bathing in acid, while heavy riffs return and storm the shores. “Loathe Forever” has guitars glimmering and menacing vocals, as Dionysiac howls, “I want to live, I want to die!” The guitars hammer hard and with no mercy while synth rises up and forms a glaze, while the pace blasts to a furious finish. “Freezing Vortex Death Dreamer” begins with rumbling guitars and a slowly driving tempo designed to leave bruising. The vocals sneer while the guitar work carves you up, and as the playing develops, it feels like you’re caught on a tornadic display that leaves the entire room spinning.

“Cold and Cruel” dips into cool synth as the guitars get their motors revved up, and the pace ignites into D-beat punishment. The drums are on fire as the vocals spit venom, and then a wondrous cold front is created by the keys while your prone body is rolled in a pit of nails. “Kiss Of Death” has a strong Motorhead vibe, as Dionysiac vows he’s “out to get you, out to see you burn.” The chorus is simple but effective as it’s the song title shouted in your face, and later on the keys whir, the bass rollicks, and things come to an utterly blazing end. “Mother Superior” bashes away the moment it arrives, giving you no room to recover from what came before it. The track stomps guts but it also has a pretty cool melody that cuts through it, so it’s approachable but scathing. The vocals remain fiery even though the song is fun, and everything ends ins a weird synth swirl. “Lunatics-Mondsüchtig” bathes in keys at first until the pace catches fire, and gravelly shouts pummel. There are a lot of bursts of coolness along the way to temper the madness, but as the song winds down, a wall of punchy sounds strikes back, and the song blasts out in fuzz. Closer “The Dying Grass Moon” is the longest cut here, clocking in at 7:03, and riffs begin to chew right away as the playing ramps up and destroys. Words are spat as icy melody lines arrive, and the chorus where Dionysiac shouts, “In a dying grass moon,” sends blasts over and over before the track buzzes away.

Okkultokrati, like a few other bands, are coming at you at a perfect time when we need something to get our blood racing. “La Ilden Lyse” is that thing, a total mind melt of an album that feels evil, drugged out, and aggressive all at the same time. The thing is going to kick your ass all over the place, but wouldn’t it be nice to feel something a little different right about now?

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