huge thanks to Ben Ratliff and the entire NY Times staff!
Ocrilim has been described as “Mick Barr overthinking.” The source of that description is Mick Barr himself, the guitarist only member of Ocrilim, who indeed does display obsessive tendencies. He plays steady chains of fast, screaming eighth notes, changing key, slowly forming a larger melodic pattern, repeating and repeating, driving his post-metal, post-symphonic ideas deep into your brain. “ANNWN” (Hydrahead), the new Ocrilim album, is one composition in seven parts, for multitracked solo guitar. Yet there are no solos, really, just a thick pile of single-note lines. (Or maybe it’s all one orchestrated solo: whatever.)
The only percussion you hear is the steady abrasion of pick against string. It’s a coherent work, dark and triumphant and self-reliant, a physical accomplishment. When you get through it, you feel as if you’ve grown an inch. Imagine how Mr. Barr felt.