Thursday, 4 April 2013

O.D.R.A. - Karl Denke Blües (album review)

I've been dying to take a crack at reviewing this album since I downloaded it in early January.  It just kept getting pushed further back in the pile of albums to review because I prioritize band requests over ones like this, reviews of albums that nobody asked me to do, but that I had to do because they need to be shared.  In the time since this album came out and I've been waiting to review it, I've discovered, received the CD of in the mail and even reviewed an excellent album by a band called Palm Desert, who it turns out, are not only from the same city as O.D.R.A. but are actually connected through mutual drummer Kamil Ziółkowski.  Though the two bands share a brother in Kamil, that's about as much as they have in common.

O.D.R.A. stomp and crush the skulls of all comers.  'Karl Denke Blües', the title of their third record, is a fitting title indeed.  The album is a veritable axe attack, cleaving listeners repeatedly then keeping their flesh in large jars of curing salt or something like that, figuratively speaking of course.

The vocals are shouted with blood-vessel bursting force in the crust punk tradition.  The lyrics are all in Polish, but chances are you wouldn't understand them anyway.  Actually, Chudy, the vocalist, sounds like an escaped and enraged mental patient separating his shoulders to free himself from his straight-jacket to get his hands on that axe on the wall.  Once he comes at you he won't stop until there's nothing left to attack.  Yeah, I'd say that's pretty much what Chudy sounds like.

Screwdriver riffs with rusty feedback tips flow in and out of each song like extinction level event waves.  This connection of tracks via feedback and other such noises creates a single take live feeling.  It really does feel like a live record.  One can almost picture Chudy roaming and stalking around the recording studio on the warpath, the instrumentalists wary of his dangerous presence but glad he's on their side, putting a foot on the monitor and really leaning into his lines.  I don't know where the album was recorded but a killer's wooden work shed with hanging hooks on chains would be a good guess.

With a vocalist as crazy as Chudy, a drummer with the pedigree of Kamil and a bassist who goes by the handle of Defekator creating an album named after a horrific serial killer and his associated blues, you should have some idea of what you're getting yourself into with 'Karl Denke Blües'.  Sure, it's a paint the town red kind of record, but it has nothing to do with cheerful good times.

Highlights include: "Odrowąż" and "Karl Denke Blües"

Rating: 3.5/5

Total Run Time: 39:57

Chudy Byk - vocals
Ziółko - drums
Smalec - guitar
Karolek aka defekator - bass

From: Wrocław, Poland

Genre: Sludge, Doom, Crust

Reminds me of: Baptists, Demonic Death Judge, Indian, Thorr-Axe

Release Date: December 14, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Invite somebody over for dinner and sharpen the blade.

Better Review:
Heavy Planet
Born Again Nihilist

O.D.R.A. facebook

Short bio of Karl Denke

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