This new band, which emerged from the German Black Metal scene in 2022, is formed by a pair who have already gained some experience in a number of other Black Metal bands. The best-known of that bunch is Pesten 1349, in which vocalist Timo “Graf Grolock” Just is also active. Under the name Øde (Danish for “Desolate”), this twosome now releases their first album with this, also Danish, title which translates to ‘Bleak And Lonely’.
I am not completely sure why they are so much into Danish (or Swedish) at their take on Black Metal does not necessarily sound Scandinavian. On the musical department, however, they do bring some riffs that can definitely be labelled bleak but above all testifies of a certain level of musical talent. The music is remarkably versatile and diverse, giving it a very dynamic character. Not only does it show an ever-changing pace, but the riffs also go from rather epic to relatively rocking, which is being displayed even within the borders of a single song.
While it all doesn’t sound too bad on first listen, there are still a few criticisms. First of all we have the guitar sound which is just a tad too smooth to give the good riffs and solid song writing the much necessary punch and crunch. Also the production is a little flat which doesn’t make the music stand out too much and pushes it back a few nods when it comes to its overall effectiveness. The very same thing can be said about the mix, the guitars and snare drums are over-present and the toms and bass drums are instead pushed too far away, again leading to a somewhat diminished overall sound. The last point is perhaps the least pleasant, Graf Grolock’s vocals are unimpressive and unfortunately do the music very little credit.
All in all ‘Bleg Og Ensom’ do provide a few good leads that the band can use to build upon, but there are also quite a few things that need some polishing and perfecting. Instead of immediately releasing a full-length album, I think the band would have done better to fiddle around with demos first; despite both musicians’ previous experience. For now, this is actually a below-average album on which good musical ideas can be found, but whose elaboration is still insufficient.