Reviewed: January 2021
Released: 2021, Nordvis Produktion
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
Like all other metal genres, black metal is in a constant state of change, with its numerous subgenres emerging and rising in popularity across the global fandom. With atmospherics and the raw sound marking some of the biggest extremes in the genre, it would seem quite a challenge to take two polar opposites and juxtapose them into a beautiful album.
But it does appear that Swedish band Bhleg, who have been making excellent black metal since 2013, has done just that with their latest release: Odhin. Due for release in 2021, Odhin takes the band’s quirky and out-there take on nature and Nordic mythos themed metal to both ends of the BM spectrum.
The moment you press play on this album you are met with guitar riffs that grind and scream like a sawmill and the whine and buzz goes from a fun raw take to something uplifting and euphoric that wouldn’t go amiss on an Earth and Pillars album.
I would not say this is an epic black metal release but it takes some epic chances by fusing stupendous musicianship personifying the icy cold lands the band emerged from, and the deep and thoughtful mythologies they have been acquainted with through their culture and ancestry.
One would definitely offer this record to the folk side of the black metal world too, as the melodies and structure of the guitars and drums ranges from the raw to the galloping beauties that would please anyone who loves indigenous metal.
Bhleg set out to create an album personifying the times when darkness and mystical wonder of winter sweep across the world and they gave us a rendition that will suit all areas of the black metal world. This is one very impressive achievement so definitely add it to your music collection if your love of music falls into any genres these Swedes have fused to make this masterpiece.