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Album Review: Occult Electric | Sound Strider

Experimental electronic magician Sound Strider encapsulates a vivid explosion of sound with the release of their newest LP Occult Electric. Sam Waks, the mastermind behind Sound Strider, forces you to dive head first into a wall of sound that will take you into a different dimension. The catchy beat is both danceable and psychedelic, allowing you to enjoy it in an upbeat environment with friends, or alone in a room. It lets your mind drift into its own soundscape.

Opening track "Helpless Cogs" features bass at the forefront with sharp noises intertwining into a melodic rhythm, expertly paired with vocals that make you feel like you’re in a dystopian reality.

This continues forward into the next track, "Hail Erin" which sets a darker tone. "Hail Erin" brings deeper bass and echoes of space, and prevalent pianos lead the song's synthesizer and bass rhythms. Finally, a climax is introduced with vocals consisting of dystopian, epic, and mystic lyrics that end in a ritual-like vocal display.

"Plague of Wizards," the longest song of the LP, opens up with mind-tingling violins which build into a bass-heavy rhythm. The inclusion of tin-sounding samples encapsulates a rhythmic array of bass and spine-chilling vocal distortion, placing you in a state of psychedelia and leaving you with visions of the music behind your eyes. Escalating with a story behind the song itself, the track then leads to a drop that introduces synths that are reminiscent of chiptunes. The heavy electronics are broken up with raw drums, resulting in a tribal sound before the song’s finale comes back to the violins that started the song off.

The album ends of with "Embracing Chaos." Introduced with the lore of magic, the track does not hold back. With the catchiest bass line of the LP and string instruments that give off an almost Egyptian vibe, the string pulling plays with your ears to create both moments of dissonance and clarity. This is followed by philosophical, thought-provoking lyrics that explode into a bass and synth heavy outbreak. A choir guides the song to completion, settling together with the bass to create a diverse layer of instruments that lead the song to a calm end.

For anyone wanting an experimental electronic escape, don’t hesitate to listen to this eclectic LP. It brings with it a grandois array of layering, psychedelia and mysticism, and leaving us hoping for more to come.

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