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Album Review

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Depth Toll
4.5

4.5

Stars

Depth Toll

Occlusion

633

#

USA

Occlusion, a Detroit-area ensemble, has made an attention-grabbing leap with their debut album, "Depth Toll". Comprising ten tracks that span a total of 47 minutes, this album is a robust foray into the world of heavy progressive rock, with a twist that makes it uniquely their own. The band, consisting of Ben Harmsen on guitar, Anthony DeMartinis on drums, Marty Gray on vocals, and Nelson Gast on bass, has crafted a sound that is not only rooted solidly in the heavy progressive genre but also brimming with radio-friendly accessibility.

"Depth Toll" is a seamless blend of heavy, intricate riffs and melodic harmonies, a combination often sought but rarely achieved with such finesse. Influences from giants like Tool and Opeth are unmistakable, yet Occlusion manages to weave these inspirations into something that is entirely their own. Each track flows into the next with purposeful transitions, creating a cohesive auditory journey that is as thought-provoking as it is enjoyable. The production, self-handled by the band, surprisingly stands out with its clarity and balance, allowing each instrument's complexity and depth to shine through without overshadowing the others.

Occlusion

Occlusion has successfully set themselves apart in the crowded progressive rock scene with their blend of heavy, intricate instrumentation and melodic, radio-friendly elements, all without sounding like “prog metal lite."

The album stands out for its lyrical depth and vocal delivery. Marty Gray's vocals are a standout, offering a range that complements the band's dynamic soundscapes perfectly. The lyrics delve into introspective and existential themes, yet they remain accessible and relatable, striking a balance that few debut albums achieve. This lyrical accessibility, combined with the album's melodic leanings, aligns well with Occlusion's goal of creating "Pop-prog" – a term that may very well become synonymous with their name.

Occlusion has successfully set themselves apart in the crowded progressive rock scene with their blend of heavy, intricate instrumentation and melodic, radio-friendly elements, all without sounding like “prog metal lite."

Their musical backgrounds and influences meld together to create a sound that is both familiar and fresh. Fans of progressive rock looking for something both challenging and inviting will find "Depth Toll" to be a rewarding listen. With this strong debut, Occlusion is a band to watch, promising a bright future in the prog-rock arena.

We love it here at Prog Radio when we can metal things up a bit, but still keep it melodic and accessible, so plan on hearing a lot of this album in our New Music rotation, as well as featured in next week’s “What’s New Proggy Cats?” broadcast.

4.5 Stars

Released:
Run Time:
Highlights:
Reviewer:
Jan 1, 2024
47 min
It Ends With Barely A Song • The Watchpot • I Awaken / Sacred September • Venenum
Kevin Carmony
Buy/Stream:
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