Odem – The Valley of Cut Tongues (Daemon Worship Productions)

Wednesday, 19th March 2014
Rating: 8/10

With the prevalence of much of Europe as a breeding ground for heavy metal, you don’t hear much about Russia in the mix.  Fortunately, there are bands like Odem that are looking to change that thought.  Go for the throat, technical blackened death metal with a flair for the occult is what the doctor ordered on The Valley of Cut Tongues and Odem serve it up with downright clinical precision.

Despite their Russian homeland, Odem have a distinct Polish flavor (Behemoth, Vader) as well as influences from Morbid Angel and a bit of Cryptopsy.  The four songs provided offer no reprieve, as they blast away at full speed, only briefly switching off into some slower, gargantuan riffing (see “Healing Catalepsy”).  That’s not to say that the album is monotonous and repetitive.  Opening “Nails As The Weapon of Hatred” (a re-recorded version of the track from their first EP) is the most straightforward but sets the blistering tone.  “Cult of Flesh” starts to allow some of the subtle occult atmosphere to come into play and gives a few moments away from the firestorm of blast beats.  The blackened occult atmosphere of closing “Satanskin” emits an almost somber feeling within the blast beats and the scream/roar of the title towards the three-minute mark sounds nothing short of awesome.

Given the initial feeling of being bulldozed by the unyielding onslaught, Odem are well on their way to making a name for themselves in death metal.  Technical, but not to the point of ruining the songs, it’s truly the melding of the precision riffs with slight atmosphere that give Odem their seal of approval.  The Valley of Cut Tongues may be a bit under the radar, but an album worth seeking out by any death metal fan.

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