Odium - _The Sad Realm of the Stars_
(Nocturnal Art, 1998)
by: Nuno Almeida (9 out of 10)
Listening to this debut album from Odium, I can't help but thinking "boy, Mr. Samoth sure knows what he's doing with his label." Odium are another great Norwegian band releasing an album through the Emperor guitarist's own label, Nocturnal Art Productions. The cover art is very similar to Limbonic Art's -- which is no surprise, since it was also done by Morpheus. The cover displays a warrior sitting on his throne, as he sadly gazes at the vast, endless universe. A very melancholic scene. And it perfectly describes Odium's music. Pure darkness, hate, coldness and sorrow. The music is typical Norwegian black metal, always very fast and extreme, the keyboard being used in a very effective way. I even dare to name it the most important feature in their music, since its role in creating the sometimes sad and melancholic, other times majestic and epic melodies is more than important -- it builds landscapes of cold melancholy and sorrow and makes a nice contrast with the fuzzy guitar, the very fast and tight drumming (courtesy of Eek from the Norwegian doom metal band Funeral) and especially with Secthdamon's agonizing screams. Great vocal performance. Just check the title track and the last two tracks of the album, "The Brightness of the Weeping Kingdom" and "Riding the Starwinds", to see what I mean. Emperor's _In the Nightside Eclipse_ comes to mind when listening to _The Sad Realm of the Stars_. The overall cold and dark feeling is very similar, although Odium do have their own style. A very, very good release. Hell, I'm tempted to give it a perfect rating! One final note: the album was recorded in 1996, but was only released almost two years later, due to problems with their previous label, the French Velvet Music. (Also reviewed in Ancient Ceremonies #3 -- http://come.to/ac_zine/)

(article published 19/5/1999)

4/13/1998 P Azevedo 4 Odium - Factor of Tantrum
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