Review from Doommantia Webzine

Posted by Nick Skog on Sunday, February 24, 2013 Under: Album Reviews
From: Doommantia Webzine
Published: April 13, 2012
Original Link
*This review is of the digitally self-released version from Spring 2012
Coming up with a memorable name for a band itself as for a début release seems to be a good choice for a newly gathered band to attract the attention of its potential audience. It is also desirable to create an original and memorable cover. And the most important part is to make the début release’s stuff such powerful that one would want to purchase a previously downloaded album at once. A newest avant-garde doom-formation Odradek Room (Mariupol, Ukraine) gained all the requirements given above and, moreover, successfully got off the mark with the publication of the song "Картина (впиваясь в холст маслом)" / “The Painting (deepening into the canvas with the oil)” on the compilation album "Doom-art 2009." Later this song was included into a full-length album "Bardo. Relative Reality'. But let us tell you everything in course.

So, what distinguishes Odradek Room from the remaining mass of doom-followers? On the one hand, the intricate band name clearly refers the listener to the creation of Kafka, a cult writer of the controversial. On the other hand, the term “bardo”, which one can see in the album’s title, is one of the basic notions of the ecclesiastical traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. It is the common name of intermediate, transition states, like the birth of a new life as well as the first phase of postmortem experience. But just alike an ordinary waking consciousness in real life is the interval between birth and death, and the relativity of reality of this period may become a subject of an extensive debate.

Band’s vision of this issue is presented in the songs on the first album, which is safe to be called conceptual. In my opinion Odradek Room has successfully avoided those pitfalls that so often spoil the life of musicians who are inclined to write slow and heavy melancholic music. Firstly, guys did not succumb to the temptation of falling into “keyboard madness”, which is rather popular. This instrument is used extremely tactfully and only in order to emphasize the atmosphere created by the guitars. Secondly, one of the main problems of our doom-death and similar sounding bands is weak and tearful lyrics that often have a fabricated wannabe-philosophic implied sense. In "Bardo..." the lyrics, performed in clean vocals and growls, are moderately poetic and treated rather mildly without the usual caustic smile. Of course I must notice that all lyrics are written in Russian, but I encourage you to taste it’s melodic sound. I’m sure still that it’s bloody great when bands use their native tongue to express their ideas, it would be too boring to listen only English stuff though – yes! – this variant is most clear for majority. But well - anxiety, fear, the opening of the new frightening sides of this world – Kafka’s literary legacy – are fully presented in the band’s lyrics. There’s nowhere to hide from the canonical doom-riffs, but it would be rather naïve to hope to succeed only by using them. The image of the album is formed not by depressing death doom-manifests, as by vibrating of gently flowing acoustic passages. They allow you to feel the growing internal emptiness, losing yourself in the labyrinths of neglected rooms of the consciousness and dust layers of memories and emotions that darken genuine human nature. Yes, Odradek Room conquers with their skill of creating unique atmosphere, and I see it as their strong side. The skillfully arranged samples like squeaks, rustle and sudden applauding add the notes of madness to the forming images. They, combined with the acoustics of some tracks, reminded me of the Finnish avant-garde project Aarni, although the material, talking about influences, somehow reminds the “nocturnal” passages of Katatonia’s works in the late 90s more. But Odradek Room are not so predictable - as I’ve already said, the percentage of avant-garde elements in their music is rather high. Let’s for example take "The Painting": from the insinuating introduction, while which the first lines of the lyrics are recited, the band consistently moves from classic low-speed death doom to the acoustics during 12 minutes on the verge of psychedelic and to the brutal onslaught with leading growls.

 In "Choke" and "Inflorescence of Silence" some more delicate sides of the band appear, and I must note that such poetic lyricism is perhaps the most remarkable side of the album. Clean vocals are rather moderately melodious, and the guitar melodies really catch me, so that the pressure of the doom-legacy of two past decades is almost imperceptible. "The River" is interesting because of having used samples taken from Linklater’s "Waking Life". I won’t say that the most powerful ideas of the movie are presented in the song, but they complete the narrative of “Bardo…” perfectly. The track "Strangling Impulses" closes the album. In this track, reality takes its most ugly form that justifies the performance of the most of the track in the black-key.

As you might have understood, Odradek Room’s album "Bardo…" is notable for numerous obvious advantages, such as interesting composer’s findings, common non-triviality of the material, a curious, though rather confusingly disclosed concept. This is the first band’s album, but it sounds mature, making the honor to the musicians, so we don’t have to take the youth of the project into account. Everything’s done honest and smartly. The album, by the way, is released by the band members themselves at their own expense. Supporting them would be the right thing to do. I’m satisfied with the fact of finding that amazing band and truly hope that this brief review will help you to discover the dark and picturesque landscapes of Odradek Room world.

Reviewed by: Aleks Evdokimov

In : Album Reviews 

Tags: "odradek room bardo relative reality" odradek room bardo relative reality atmospheric progressive psychedelic atmospheric doom metal death-doom ukrainian black ambient post-rock post-metal 


Released: March 9, 2013
500 Copies (250 digipack, 250 jewel case)
Atmospheric Death-doom Metal