ODRADEK ROOM — Bardo. Relative Reality

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ODRADEK ROOM - Bardo. Relative Reality cover
4.08 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2013

Filed under Doom Metal


1. Theatre of Forms (8:31)
2. Inflorescence of Silence (6:25)
3. A Painting (Digging into the Canvas with Oil) (12:26)
4. Suffocation (7:54)
5. Faded Reality (9:55)
6. River (5:22)
7. Cold Light (7:27)

Total time 58:00


- Ilya Zernitsky / guitars
- Sergey Kuznetsov / bass, keyboards, sampling
- Roman Borovikov / drums
- Artyom Krikhtenko / vocals, guitars, keyboards, sampling

About this release

Released March 9, 2013, on Hypnotic Dirge Records.

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Bardo. Relative Reality" is the debut full-length studio album by Ukranian doom/detah metal act Odradek Room. The album was released through Hypnotic Dirge Records in March 2013. The band´s name derives from "Die Sorge des Hausvaters", which is a short story by Franz Kafka, featuring a creature named "Odradek".

The Kafka linked band name is actually pretty well chosen as Odradek Room´s music share a bit of the same surreal expression as some of Kafka´s work. Stylistically the music on "Bardo. Relative Reality" is at it´s root doom/death metal, but there is a semi-progressive quality to the songwriting and especially the track structures that make this more than just another doom/death metal release. The music is generally not that complex but the band still display an adventurous songwriting style. The music features both slow doomy riffing, atmospheric post rock/metal sections and more melodic tinged sections. The vocals vary between death metal growls, occasional clean singing and melancholy drenched spoken word sections.

Odradek Room don´t really remind me of any particular doom/death artist and therefore references are hard to make, but despite that they are not wildly original either. I don´t hear anything on "Bardo. Relative Reality", that I haven´t heard before, but the way the band combine the elements is pretty effective. The band are well playing and that´s a positive too. The sound production is a bit of a show stopper though. It´s not terrible by any means, but the guitar sound could have been better. Especially the clean guitars, which sound slightly underproduced (demo sounding). It´s not a major issue though.

"Bardo. Relative Reality" wasn´t an album that impressed me right off the bat, but the longer I got into the album, the music unfolded with rich variation and melancholic depth. So upon conclusion I can say that it´s an interesting doom/death metal album. It´s not perfect to my ears and especially the sound production could have been better, but Odradek Room profits on their varied songwriting and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Time Signature
Cold light...

Genre: progressive death-doom

With a band named after a short story by Franz Kafka, and an album which is partially inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, you probably expect this album to be progressive and artistic. And, well, the debut album from the Ukraninian band Odrakek Room is indeed progressive and artistic.

The core style od death-doom, which means that the songs evolve around heavy songs featuring melancholy galore and growled vocals (think early Anathema, early My Dying Bride, or early Paradise Lost). But this core sound is wrapped in an inspiration from post-rock and alternative rock, and this works brilliantly in creating music which appeals both emotionally and cerebrally. Every song on the album is complex in song structure, juxtaposing heavy and doom-laden passages that feature crunchy guitars and growled vocals with mellow post-rock passages of clean guitars, introvert melancholia, and loads of atmosphere. And, as if that is not enough, one of the trademark moves of Odradek Room is to combine them, such that you have clean melancholic guitars nicely laid on top of the crunchy doom-parts. The album also features some brilliantly crushing riffs - just check the aggressive sections of 'Faded Reality'.

Being a sucker for guitar harmonies, my favorite parts of the album are those heavy passages, where the heavy drumbeat is accompanied by doomy guitar harmonies, as in the massively sad (and, mind you, in doom metal sad is good) intro of 'A Painting (Digging into the Canvas With Oil)'. Melody is a central element in Odradek Room's music, and it is generated through a variety of means from guitar harmonies and melodic gutiar leads, over melancholic octave chords, to the occasional use of piano effects.

But the album as a whole is extremely well put together. It is complex and sophisticated, but captures the core of what makes good doom metal: heaviness and melancholy. Fans of doom-death, and possibly also fans of post-metal and more adventuous fans of melancholic alternative rock, should defintiely check out Bardo. Relative Reality.

(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)

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