Odz Manouk
Odz Manouk


4.5
superb

Review

by ffs USER (56 Reviews)
February 17th, 2024 | 6 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


Some hapless archivists of 2023 metal may have stumbled across one or both of Odz Manouk's simultaneously released albums Bosoragazan (Բոսորագազան) and Ծուռ (Tzurr) and promptly avoided them based on their outwardly wacky and esoteric names. Any such folks needn't have panicked; in (google translated) Armenian those names simply mean "Wild Beast" and "Crooked", respectively, just as the band name is "Snake Baby" - very straightforward and normal nomenclature black metal-wise. Anyway, as a luminary (unilluminary?) of the mysterious Black Twilight Circle collective, the extent of Odz Manouk's ties to Armenian folklore is uncertain. Regardless, the band's reappearance last year wasn't with too much shedding of skin in the time since this self-titled album released over a decade prior: here, Odz Manouk sinks adorable and deadly fangs into a tortured, psychologically immersive black metal sound that envelops icily, as if it could transmute the cosy warm blood flowing lazily through human veins into that of an ectotherm.

For normal people, black metal is probably the most intimidating of all the extreme metal genres with its ever-diverging stylistic granularity. This is exactly what makes Odz Manouk such a success; with zero contrivance or gimmickry it harnesses the spirit of various black metal disciplines and shackles them together in a result that is equal parts catchy and unholy: it is raw without the opacity, atmospheric without the tedium and even melodic without the risk of gout. Goldilocks-approved production (relative, this is still black metal) and concise but interesting arrangements make these aspects stand out with just the right degree of clarity from the album's captivating murk.

Don't get any notions of this album's atmospheric qualities twisted, Odz Manouk is oppressive and relentless: dense, dark riff curtains immediately drape from opener "A Mymex Omen" and billow ominously for pretty much the entirety of the album's tight 37 minute duration. The wretched vocals thoroughly explore the spectrum between croak and shriek while note-perfect drums, though for the most part unadventurous, never lack for application and punch through the swirl of guitars.

While the leads are often in the limedarkness (uh), the fluid rhythm guitar on Odz Manouk does some serious work, with just about enough thrash influence to please purists. Look no further than the eye-wateringly riff-packed "The Indisciplinarian" which centres around/culminates in an intoxicating power chord riff but shifts inkily between this and tremolo sections like gaze-evading shadows in the corner of your eye. Another standout track is "I Will Crush To Marrow This Crow of Ill" which exemplifies Odz Manouk's evoking of label-mates Arizmenda with its schizoid riff shifts and daggers of melody that riddle the track like cracks on the surface of some kind of sinister egg.

Those familiar with the seminal Tliltic Tlapoyauk compilation which included the majority of Black Twlight Circle artists may have noted the absence of Odz Manouk, this was most likely due to Odz Manouk's aforementioned preoccupation with Armenian mythology which is at odz with the mesoamerican slant that the collective is known for, particularly on that release. Whatever the reason for their omission, there is zero chance of it being related to quality as Odz Manouk’s brand of tortured black metal is among the best of the bunch.



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user ratings (47)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
NightOnDrunkMountain
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2024


644 Comments


A hell of an album

brainmelter
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2024


8329 Comments


hell yea band rules, big pos!
edit: fixed (:

Hawks
February 18th 2024


87995 Comments


Idk why I've never heard this. Bosoragazan is sick and I'm sure this is too.

ffs
February 18th 2024


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thank u mr melter



yeah boso was one of my favs last year but this is a bit better i think

necropig
February 18th 2024


7409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice

dedex
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2024


12788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9 | Sound Off

hayeah righteous



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