With a band name as borderline unpronounceable as Okkultokrati, you’d be forgiven for expecting the musicians within its ranks to be heavily into arcane demonology lore, and to pay homage to this obscure entity via the medium of über-grim orthodox black metal. This isn’t the case here however, as this Oslo wrecking crew are more into the Norwegian Black Hole Crew than the Black Circle, and play the kind of dirty rock n’ roll that would be instantly banned from Helvete for being too damn fun.
Opening track ‘No Ouroboros’ kicks the party off in fine style with its driving punk riffs instantly conjuring images of a heaving basement squat gig replete with flailing hair and arcs of beer splashing onto the ancient flyers plastered on the walls. The title track comes across as the result of a line of speed done at band practise; a 1 minute and 46 second jam that’s gone in an instant and paves the way for the Darkthrone-on-downers stomp of ‘Invisible Ley’. The influence of the demonic duo looms large over most of “Snakereigns” with vocalist Black Qvisling (possibly not his real name) sounding as if he’s been at the same foul batch of ale that makes Nocturno Culto sound so rough, while the anarcho vibes of ‘I Thought of Demons’ are what would happen if Fenriz had to write riffs after a severe head trauma.
The lengthy (by punk standards) ‘Acid Eagle One’ takes a detour to wallow in mouldy doom-death, slowing the pace, but not to tighten up the ramshackle atmosphere. This endearing sloppiness is emphasised in the crusty d-beat of ‘Unconscious Mind’ and the blackened West-Coast tinged assault of ‘Nothing Awaits’, demonstrating how Okkultokrati are clearly unafraid of showcasing their far-and-wide spread of influences and are unashamedly punk in replicating their heroes’ disregard for note-perfect precision. That said, the punishingly heavy Celtic Frost dirge of ‘We So Heavy’ does more than enough to cement their standing as one of metal/punk’s more intriguing bastard children, so if you find Kvelertak a bit too polished, grab a crate of beer, hit play on “Snakereigns” and prepare for 37 minutes of no-brainer perfection.