Album Review: Reign/Rulum – The Occult 8 (Black Metal)

Written by Zax

  • Reign and Rulum
  • The Occult
  • Black Metal
  • November 20th, 2020
  • Repose Records
  • 8/10

Fuck it, more black metal! This time I’m covering a split between two relatively obscure bands from the United Kingdom: Reign and Rulum. I’ve actually never covered a split on the site before, but hey, there’s a first time for everything.

Consistency in tone is very important to me when it comes to split albums. Each individual side can be good, but a split doesn’t work for me as a whole album experience unless their is some sort of cohesion or chemistry between the two bands, and while Reign and Rulum have very different takes on black metal, there is a consistent tone and atmosphere to this record. It’s very dark and almost vintage sounding.

Reign handle the first 4 tracks. They deliver a sort of mid-paced but very riff heavy black metal complete with some amazing vocals and rock solid production. It’s reminiscent of 1st wave black metal in some of the structure and pacing, as well as more popular black metal bands from the 2000s and 2010s. Two of their tracks are actually instrumental and more ambient, and they do a lot to build atmosphere on the record.

Rulum takes from a much different black metal style, which is second wave Norwegian style black metal. I do prefer Rulum’s side on this split, which is kind of odd because 2nd wave is far from my favorite as far as black metal goes, but Rulum take all of the best parts of that era and just fucking run with them. It’s slightly more lo-fi production wise and it’s very fast paced with blastbeats and tremolo shredding galore against some trademark black metal screeches. The use of synth and how it blends in so smoothly with the rest of the music is just impeccable and it gives this whole side quite the whimsical atmosphere.

Reign/Rulum: Bandcamp / Spotify (Rulum)

Reign and Rulum are both solo projects, and it’s kind of wild to me that behind all the texture and variation this album offers, there’s only two guys. Really impressive stuff, don’t miss this one folks.

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