It’s not terribly often that we find ourselves categorizing the many forms of black metal as “artistic expressions”. We tend to associate the style with simpler ideals like catharsis, internal suffering, religious blasphemy, or anything else with a flair of extremism mixed in purely because that’s what black metal has long been associated with. But, it’s every so often that we get a performance that not only throws out all those pre-conceptions without a second thought but truly goes the extra mile to craft an experience that can confidently be called unique. Odraza dared to do that last year with “Rzeczom”, but it is single-handedly with “Acedia” that they do no less than astound at every turn.
Even just tagging what is accomplished here as black metal and nothing else is to wildly mislead anybody. Even their previous performance stretched the style to a wondrous extent with mass acclaim from all sides, yet it is within the first few moments of “Acedia” that you quickly come to realize that this creation is something else entirely. Doubling as an aural pairing to the “Coexistence” exhibition at the Museum of Krakow, it is the whole of “Acedia” that embodies the entire range of emotions that were brought on by the pandemic last year and it is to a stunning extent that Odraza brings it to life almost flawlessly in a way that feels downright harrowing since that was an experience I feel confident in saying not a single one of us would ever want to relive, much less experience in a condensed different no matter how much time passes. Regardless of that, though, it’s tough to sit, become absorbed by all that “Acedia” is, and not become absolutely enraptured by how experimental it all feels, how well everything comes together as a true catharsis through aural representation of the event that made the world stop, or be utterly stunned by the work of macabre art that has been crafted. A two-track work that takes the meaning of “scathing” to a completely different level that transcends psyche, soul, and flesh, it is very quickly that Odraza has elevated themselves to become a name that absolutely must be heard by any fan of black metal that goes against the grain for it will be quickly after any initial investigation that any listener will find themselves in a unique realm that only enters the world of black metal every so often, but it’s in those few instances that we are delivered works that cannot be considered anything other than massive. In every way, that’s precisely what “Acedia” presents to us.
We are still very much in the midst of a torrent of releases inspired directly by the pandemic that is not likely to go away any time soon for obvious reasons, but there’s a special potency to what Odraza brings forth on their go at the topic with monolithic being the only word that I could ever settle on to wholly describe the work. It is a work of art the likes of which black metal should be extremely proud to be a part of, but there’s so much more than that happening within “Acedia” that makes it the wonder that it is with so much being poured into this master class display.
LISTEN to “Acedia” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Odraza on Facebook here.