Sunday 15 August 2021

Bhleg - Odhin

Labels: Nordvis Produktion

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 15 Jan 2021


1. Vyss

2. Alyr III

3. Gyllene Gal

4. Slukad Sol

5. Odet

6. Drommen Om Vardtradet

It's pretty safe to say that the human race is currently taking a massive nosedive. Those who have radical views seems to be coming out of the woodwork, intent on causing chaos. All it does is make me want to retreat and find solace somewhere where those idiots are afraid to dwell. That being the folk/black metal of Sweden's Bhleg and their third full-length Odhin, which was released back in January via Nordvis Produktion. Since Bhleg's formation in 2013, the mysterious duo have been very productive, releasing three albums, an EP, a split and also a couple of singles too. Odhin is still available on vinyl, cd and of course digital variants.

Bhleg’s sound encompasses the rawness of black metal with the comfort of melodic instrumentation, which is something that’s very much the preserve of Swedish black metal bands. It’s a style that they do so well and on album opener ‘Vyss’, Bhleg crafts the two approaches into a lengthy and enthralling beast. The vocals are raspy growls, broken up by melodic chants. The guitars provide a constant rhythmic buzz alongside the lively traditional percussion, while keys give it an subtly orchestral layer.

‘Alyr III’ instantly fires into life next, with riffs that are precise and beautiful in their simplicity. The song overall is oddly soothing, as Bhleg slow the tempos down slightly, adding more atmosphere as a result. That said, everything here is very focused and as the quietness of traditional folk music takes over during the mid-section, time is given over to self-reflection and calm. The song’s latter half is a fantastic example of dramatic metal that’s cinematic and clearly influenced by the nature that exists around the band.

Keyboards are used to create a gorgeous ambient feeling during ‘Gyllene Gal’. The ability to create such a wholesome instrumental shows just how sensitive this duo really are. I’d be happy with an album full of instrumental songs if they were as good as this. That being said, it’s perfectly placed on Odhin and it’s context is clear here. The striking horn that sits atop of the icy black metal of ’Slukad Sol’ will awaken even the coldest of hearts with it’s call-to-arms, heralding another raging long-player from Bhleg, that’s almost hypnotic as you drive further in. Those soaring melodic vocals also ring out once again and add to the majesty of this release.

Penultimate song ‘Odet’ heads back in a more traditional direction in places but follows the same approach as ’Slukad Sol’ for the majority of it’s playing time. It’s such a great song to get lost in and once again highlights how good Bhleg are as musicians. Album closer ‘Drommen Om Vardtradet’ is a gentle acoustic song, providing calm amongst the dissonance. As a complete body of work Odhin is very cohesive, even with the levels of variation on show. Bhleg now feel like seasoned professionals and are very endearing to listen to. Black metal always divides opinion amongst metal fans but hopefully we can all unite over this release.

You can stream and purchase Odhin on all formats below:-

Bhleg -

Nordvis Produktion -

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