|Review: Blodsrit - Ocularis Infernum|
Label: Adipocere Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: July 23, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.88/5 (77.5%) (8 Votes)
Second full-length album for this Swedish Black Metal band. I first became aware of Blodsrit through mp3.com, and it's good to see that the band went to bigger things. Want it or not, after you've heard a good number of Black Metal albums (or any genre, for that matter), most of the time you'll get a feeling of "déjà heard", and "Ocutaris Infernum" is no exception - I hear a strong resemblance to Hegemon's (France) "Chaos Supreme" guitar and keyboard sound, to the point where I feel some songs could almost be interchangeable between the two albums! I don't think we're dealing with any type of ripoffs here, it's most likely just a coincidence. And the comparison sure is not a criticism, as Hegemon's first album is one of my all-time favourites.
The band has gone quite a way since its humble mp3.com debut, and we are presented here with a much more mature outfit at all levels - better songwriting, and tighter and more achieved sound, all this without compromising their original sound (i.e. no wimpification here...) The atmosphere of the album changes a bit during the 42 minutes, alternating slightly between a dark/angry and doomy atmosphere to something a little more up-beat, almost positive-sounding at times - I'm not sure if that was the band's intention, but this is what it sounds like to this listener. :) The shrieking, sometimes agonising vocals (very effective in their own right) make up for it to an extent. Frankly the only real problem here is that there are so many bands doing similar stuff nowadays that it's difficult for a band to really shine with its own distinct sound, and it's becoming more difficult every day to be impressed by any single release, but I can't really hold this particular band responsible for this now, can I? ;) To their credit, not only they do this very well, there's a noticeable improvement from their debut - so they're definitely worth checking out. Fans of BM in the vein of Hegemon and Darkthrone, take note.
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