Split – Reign / Rulum – The Occult

4 min read

Band: Reign / Rulum
Title: The Occult
Label: Repose Records
Release date: 20 November 2020
Country: England
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

Splits… Is a format that I love. Why? Simple it’s a way to know two, three or four bands, more than that for me is a compilation.

In this case, two bands. Both from England. One from the South and the band is Reign and the other, Rulum is from the North.

For Reign is already the third release is you count with the single “Cursed In Eternity” (Mayhem Cover). if not, well, is the second one. The first one was released in 2019 and it was only released to 25 copies in tape format and named “Through Ceaseless Downpour”.

For Rulum… Well, a lot of mystery and not so much info about it. Except for the name of the person behind it R.W.S (Everything) and the place, the songs were recorded, so I will assume this is the first release of this one-man-band.

Four songs for each band, this split named “The Occult” has more than 45 minutes of very good and well done Black Metal. Two bands playing the same music style but with a different approach. These two different ways of playing Black Metal does this split of the best and most captive that I heard till now in this decadent year.

Reign is more Traditional in the way of playing, in the way that the songs are built, with many harmonious and fluent passages. Reign side or part starts with a kind of “Intro” named “Fractured Blade” very relaxing and very well done. It’s the beginning of the amazing music that would come. “A Breath Over the Mountain Pass” is the continuation of the quality of the previous song. The mid-tempo at the beginning of the song, the passages from rhythm to rhythm, from pre-chorus to chorus. The voice that gives a very good atmosphere for the song. The simple but effective keys on the background of the song. I love it.

The third song “Subjugating Darkness” starts in the same way as the previous one but is more melancholic and a bit slower, but the passages here in this song, are more “cruel”, “brute” and very different from the previous song. And like the Reign part started it ends with the song “Fragments Fade”. And I must say that was a very good way to finish this very good moment of music that I had while listening to this very good band.

Rulum, is the second band from this very good release.
“Hevel” is the first song and reminds me of some Old School Black Metal with keys, not the symphonic Black Metal bands, but some old spirit or approach I found it here. But as the music was flowing this feeling started to fade a bit and started to listen to some other influences. The sensation continued in the song “Destination Unknown” and the confirmation too. Still exist the kind of tribute to the 90’s Black Metal bands with keys but some progressive touch here and there and the 70’s progressive style shows the “face” in the band’s music style. Very well done, to be honest.

“Loss”, the third music from Rulum is one the best mixes I heard till today of progressive rock with Black Metal. The way it starts, the Synth on the background and it looked to me some Hammond organ sounds here and there. The Black metal sound and atmosphere is there and the progressive 70’s rock mixed… Very good in my opinion.
And… “Rul”… The last song of Rulum… Everything that I wrote above, is here, but in an accurate way. The feeling, the progressive touch, the Black Metal part and the rhythm used, the simple chords but they fit so well, and the voice here is more and much more addicted than in the previous songs.

I will not choose any band or saying that Reign is better or Rulum is better. Cause that is not correct, that is not what this release is about. This split is very damn good with this two bands even if they are similar but at the same time different and playing Black Metal with different approaches.

This split is a must, a masterpiece, and will for sure one of the 10 best albums released in 2020 in my opinion. 9.5/10 The Key Keeper 666

Note: The album is already in preorder. So act fast. The images used are taken from the label’s Bandcamp and is only for you to get an idea of the look of the release.


Nothing here…


9.5/10 Epic Storm
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