Hailing from Gelderland (The Netherlands), Thammuz combines heavy grooves with psychedelia, fuzzy guitar tones with great vocal work, along with just the right amount of rock and blues thrown in for good measure. They released their newest effort back in October of 2022, called Sons of the Occult.
About Sons of the Occult
Containing ten tracks with a thirty-seven-minute runtime, Sons of the Occult is a pretty great album, especially considering that this is only their second full-length release. The riffs are full of power, even without being fuzzed up, as I find that the more subdued and cleaner riffs hit just as hard as their fuzzy counterparts.
Starting with the fifth track, we find “Self-taught Man,” which is my pick for the best song on this album. I love the intro riff; it’s full of groove despite being more on the mellow side, as well as being an excellent anticipation builder leading up to the first verse. That anticipation is fulfilled when the fuzz kicks on, and Thammuz ups the ante during this section. The rhythm guitar tone during the lead is some of the fuzziest fuzz you’re likely to hear, and they don’t back off the throttle for the rest of this song.
Up next is “Dumuzid’s Descent,” which is only about a minute and a half in length, but it’s also one of the coolest riffs on the entire album.
That short interlude drops us into “Death Songs,” a song that has a “psychobilly” vibe throughout its runtime. I also detect a bit of Motorhead influence and a bit of blues as well. I dig the verse sections quite a bit, which is less fuzzed out but not lacking in any of the power that the psychobilly genre provides.
The album begins with “Electric Sheep”, whose intro reminds me of the buildup the Red Hot Chili Peppers used in their “Can’t Stop” track on the By the Way album. As the song moves forward, some bits seem to be influenced by Queens of the Stone Age but with less desert rock and more punk vibes. This song is an excellent way to get the ball rolling for the listener.
Directly afterward, we get the title track, “Sons of the Occult.” This one reminds me of what THAL does (who also just put out a kick-ass record), but obviously, as seen through the Thammuz lens. The guitar tones are fantastic throughout, and the outro perfectly suits the song as a whole.
The last one I would like to briefly go over is “Guayota,” a track with just over four minutes of exceptionally cool, guitar-driven music. Like “Dumuzid’s Descent,” there are no vocals, just solid playing by the whole band and an awesome vibe from that to finish.
My overall impression of Sons of the Occult was positive, which is unsurprising based on how much I enjoyed their debut. This new one displays all of the things I liked about Into the Great Unknown but shows an increased skill in songwriting and arrangement, particularly when talking about the two instrumentals I mentioned above.
So yes, I recommend Thammuz to anyone with working ears and access to the internet, so head over to their Bandcamp and give both of their full lengths a listen! Enjoy!
Support Thammuz by checking out their Bandcamp or find them on social media (Facebook, Instagram).
This review was written by Tom Hanno, who has been writing reviews for the last 7 years but has been sharing his love of music for the majority of his life. Originally starting out at the now defunct Chimera Magazine, he is currently contributing to Doomed and Stoned, The Sleeping Shaman, The Doom Charts, Tom’s Reviews, and The Third Eye. Read more of Tom’s reviews by checking out his Linktree.
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