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Occams Laser and the New Blood: A Dark Wave Worth Riding - Music Review

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Occam's Laser New Blood - Music Review

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"What if a form of control was manufactured through a synthetic new blood. Recipients of this blood would only find out too late to change their fate. Pumping cautiously through the veins of its host; taking hold like the gentle ebbing of the tide. Imprisoned from the inside, there’s no chance to escape the New Blood."


 Occam's Laser - New Blood - Music Review

In March of this year, I did a very bad thing.  Overcome with the wild intensity that is Occams Laser’s New Blood, I simply tucked my thoughts away about this brilliant expedition into the halls of horror and did not write about it.  I guess I wasn’t ready to put my awe into words; the release was (and remains) that intimidating. It is a collage of all the sounds that I, a confessed B-movie horror aficionado, absolutely dig about the genre.  This release is more than electronic pulses from beyond, man.  It was all up in my face and ears and my heart, as a consequence of being this close to synthesized EVIL, nearly gave out.  I couldn’t handle this release.

"This is music made murderous by a collection of synth-based sounds that feel oh so very fresh, maddening, and absolutely nail-bitingly PERFECT"


Any maybe I still can’t.  That’s how perfectly expressed the New Blood is; a dark wave worth riding until the final seconds where it breaks upon the shore.  It is a masterpiece of hellfire and damnation that I can’t get enough of.  Forgive me for taking so long with this review, Occams.  

Occam's Laser - New Bllod - Music Review

Each and every single time I listen to its beckoning abyss, I lose a bit of myself in all the madness.  This release is catchy and frightening and, as the beginning ambience of “Transfusion” suggests, it screams into the silence for us all.  The opening track is a sick ride as the gates of Hell open up and we find ourselves shoved, toppling down into the depths thanks to a grimy retro-sounding synth line that simply rips at our flesh as we tumble down into the fiery pit. 

Our salvation comes in the freakish form of “Left Behind” and its beautiful opening refrain. This is what morning light must sound like; Lucifer is THAT close. Those spiraling synths suggest an uplift of some sort but the slinky remains of the keys used in the first song tell us otherwise; there’s more to fear here and then there is a third, hollowed out wave of synths. Christ. And when it all ends, it is just you staring directly into the void that already knows your name.

Things don’t get better as far as curses and fates are concerned with “Vessel”, a masterful song that touts a gleeful gloom thanks to a higher pitch, a sparkling sound, and an infectious groove that even Michael Myers would kill for.  And then, thanks to the epic nailing of “Quarantine”, we find our own asses suspended from a wooden cross that we had a hand in putting together. But, as is the case with Occams Laser (including the previous releases), once you hit play, you simply cannot stop.

And then Kid Neon, supplying additional guitars on “Hemostasis” makes us all sit up and take notice. Holy shit and heavy modulations, Synthwave riders! This fresh track, ringing the Top Gun bells better than the actual soundtrack ever did, is all killer shred and never undead. 

This song slices AND dices and, as it is built around a minimal-sounding synth line, manages to fascinate before “Coagulate” and its jarring synths return us to a sickly-sweet hospital floor in Hell as the sounds of a bizarro world Doctor Who theme gives us a whirring whiplash.  All that descending has brought us here.   

But, wait, is that Goblin I hear?  Because “New Blood” with its commanding pulses sells me completely on this release.  It’s as if Dario Argento himself has stepped into the room and all the foreboding influences have begun: more dead bodies, more blood, and more time spent with the killer at large.  Occams Laser simply delivers modulars of the macabre here and, as “Factor XIII” begins, he’s not about to let up.  Get ready for the explicitly shot peephole murders, my fiends!

Occam's Laser - New Bllod - Music Review

From the bouncy pulses and straight bear of “Iconography” to the frozen terror of the twisting “Claret”, the New Blood never wears out its welcome.  This is music made murderous by a collection of synth-based sounds that, while essentially sound as if ripped out of the late cinema of 1970s, feel oh so very fresh, maddening, and absolutely nail-bitingly PERFECT.  And that ending, courtesy of the dynamic “It Gets Darker”, will definitely leave you haunted for days on end. 

Just wait, though.  Because of their possessive quality, these songs will actually call out to you from deep within the darkness of your own house in the days to come.  Drop the needle.  Hit play.  You can always stop the vinyl, right?  Right, the author says shaking his head. Occams Laser, look what you've done to me.

From the cover art to the eleven tracks contained within, the dark side of synthwave has an inspiring (and inspired) ambassador in Occams Laser.  The release of New Blood by TimeSlave Recordings is not likely to be forgotten anytime soon.

Occam's Laser - New Bllod - Music Review

 


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