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3 out of 5 skulls

Ogdru Jahad I

The debut full-length from Denmark’s Ogdru Jahad is about as lo-fidelity as you can get. It sounds as though I was recorded deep in some underground tomb, the stench of ruptured flesh and rot filling your nostrils. It’s sort of appropriate considering the bestial blasphemy that these guys are slinging about over the 30 minutes of black/death that oozes from your speakers. This shit is some seriously nasty, festering music.

What I really like about I though isn’t just the malevolence that comes with the churning corruption that fills the air. It’s the music brevity. None of the songs overstay their welcome, with most lasting less than three minutes in run time. Ogdru Jahad don’t fuck around wasting anyone’s time. They’ve got a message to send and they send it succinctly and violently.

Once you get past the brief “Intro,” you’re greeted by a murky wall of riffage and thundering drums. The sound on this album takes a bit to get used to, but once you’re keyed in it’s easy to pick out variations in the riffing patterns as well as tempo shifts. Vocally, the growls seethe within the convulsing mass of tentacles and vileness that is Ogdru Jahad, serving as instrument more so than it does delivery mechanism of the lyrics. “Unholy Blessings” has some nice tempo shifts throughout as the buzz-sawing guitars tear through the pious with rusty teeth. “Necromantic Rites” brings in a few sound effects to lighten up the denseness of the recording before launching into a whirlwind of buzzed out riffs and distant drums.

Albums like this are a bit tough to explore. I mean, I do love me some bestial blackened death, but when the production is so muddled as I, it’s a pain in the ass to separate the songs — they just all bleed into one another. Thankfully, there are some decent solos peppered throughout the album to break up the seething wall of hatred.

If you like your metal as lo-fi as possible then you need to check out these blasphemous fucks. Ogdru Jahad have more than enough hate to go around. I just wish I could actually hear it. Still, I is a decent enough recording that fans of this style of metal should check it out.

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