ODIUM - The Sad Realm Of The Stars - Limited Splatter Vinyl LP

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Odium is a name that hasn't been talked about much in the symphonic black metal scene. Formed in 1994, the Norwegian band didn't release much besides a demo, a single, and their only studio album "The Sad Realm of the Stars". The 1998 album received little recognition when it was first released since it was seen as more of a Limbonic Art knockoff. However, when you give the album a listen, you'll see that it's more than just a cheap ripoff of Limbonic Art. Not only does it expand upon the Limbonic Art sound, but it also stands out in its own ways.

Let's start off with the instruments. As I've stated before, the instrumentals take large inspiration from Limbonic Art, but it does have its own merits. The guitars sound more raw, but still maintain a clean production to fit the symphonic themes. Speaking of which, the symphonic elements are easily one of the strongest elements on this album. The keyboards sound beautiful with its melodic tunes, and gives the overall atmosphere a grand theatrical tone. One instrument I find a bit weak though is the drums. It's decent it terms of the blastbeats it plays, but the production softens the loud banging a bit, so it feels weak. Some of my favorite instrumentals come from the tracks "Towards the Forest Horizon", "Thy Eternal Nightfall", and "The Sad Realm of the Stars", since those tracks execute the symphonic themes the strongest and have some powerful riffs. While the drumming can feel weak, every other instrument does not fail in bringing in an epic and dramatic atmosphere.

Another great thing about the album is the vocals. Sechtdaemon does the vocals here, and he stands out in his own ways. Sechtdaemon's high shrieks sound very angry, and the occasional demonic screams only further enhances the evil personality in him. One of the stronger vocal moments is from the track "Through the Sorrowfilled Forest". The album goes for a more abrasive and chaotic tone, so the guitar riffs have more darker sounds and the symphonic synths have a more grim tone in them. This fits perfectly well with the vocals, as the shrieks flow well to the cold instruments and further execute the grand atmosphere. Sechtdaemon's vocals are excellent in flow and delivery, and his vocal skills are right up there with Ihsahn of Emperor.

Overall, this is an album that will surprise a lot of people, especially since it's a lot more than just Limbonic Art worship. The symphonic elements strengthen the cold and dark atmosphere, and the vocals have a strong delivery and execution. Odium would go on a hiatus shortly after the release of the "Altering the State of Being" single, and they only just recently reignited the band. It's unknown of the band is gonna make new music, but as of now, "The Sad Realm of the Stars" is an album I highly recommend for those seeking an unique take on the Limbonic Art sound.

Slater922, July 8th, 2021 - METAL ARCHIVES

Re-issue, 400x heavyweight milky clear with heavy red, cyan blue & white splatter 12" (180g) in a black poly-lined innersleeve, gatefold, full-color printed on 350g, all assembled in a plastic overbag.