Occult rock is our way, now, of having a real, perceptible link to the past when heavy metal and hard rock were just getting started. It has a smug “fuck you” kind of attitude that reminds us all of the days when metal was just getting started. It’s a call back to those days without sacrificing what we have learned from music today. Truly, occult rock is one of the great forms of music we have today that is, of course, ignored or feared by massive amounts of the populous because it refuses to conform to any sort of order. We need that right now in our lives. We need a form of music that allows us to momentarily escape from the harsh realities of the world but gives us strength to face them and say fuck off. Occult rock is a mixture of the old classic heavy metal sound that had lots of doom and stoner influences, it’s the kind of music that the TV show Supernatural has thrived on for twelve years without realizing it. “Nothing at Dawn” is the brand new album from the group Akavasa and its everything that I’ve seen occult rock come to represent.
Nothing at Dawn has what I’d like to call disconcordant poetry, lots of poetic images and lines that at first glance don’t really belong together other than the fact that they all seem to have an otherworldly quality. And yet that’s exactly why they belong together. They paint a very strange image, distorted by reality into something that feels so strange that it’s somehow comforting. Nothing at Dawn is a very quiet, subtle album that allows all the hallmarks of occult rock to sort of sneak up on the listener and envelope them. But isn’t that the whole purpose of occult rock? To envelope its listener and cover them in a warm, detached sound? Nothing at Dawn is perfect in that regard. I have only really just started studying occult rock, its themes and history but I think I found some gold when I found Nothing at Dawn. It’s absinthe for the ears. The sonic propaganda of occult rock is alive and well in Nothing at Dawn. I assure this album will be playing in my iPod for a long time. The sound has staying power, it’s powerfully hypnotic. I would say it’s psychedelic if the word didn’t have something of a reputation, and fuck it, the words mixed with the music are psychedelic, they are transformative. The album transcends reality, where it takes the listener is really up to the listener but the music takes them away from what they know, where they’ve been before.
Without the benefit of drugs to fuel the trip, Nothing at Dawn and Akavasa in general can take you away from the nasty unpleasantries of the world and allow you to exists in a sort of fugue state. I’ve listened to the album three times in two days (the album itself only came out on Friday) but each time I feel myself taken away from my current situation and the state of affairs around the world. It’s not a good thing, nor is it a bad thing. I’m not here to say whether a trip like that is a negative or a positive but I am here to say that is what the music does here and I think that this sort of music is supposed to do that. From that alone, Nothing at Dawn is a spectacular album, it’s genuine and it’s strange and it’s wonderful. I cannot think of anything else I would want from an occult rock album. The vocals were the harsh, angry, cantankerous words of a prophet who has seen so many different worlds within the music. The album is the sharing of the experiences and the invitation to see different realities, even if it’s only for an hour or so at a time. Wouldn’t that be worth it? I for one would say yes. I recommend this album for those like me who are new to occult rock and find themselves wanting to learn more about it. Nothing at Dawn is a damn good gateway album, well worth the time spent listening to it.
Listen and support!