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Opiumortem – Мъртви души

opiumortem – Мъртви души


After two demos, which were recently compiled onto one tape and released through Narbentage Produktionen, Opiumortem now returns with a full-length album. Apparently it was recorded in the span of two weeks around the turn of January/February of 2023 and made available on February 12th. That says something about the pureness and spontaneity of the music.

The most remarkable, however, is that this is the very first recording of Opiumortem to actually feature vocals. While the two demos both omitted any of them, it never bothered me that they were actually instrumental. The exciting song writing, the depressive atmosphere and genuine production made up for the absence of vocals big time. The music on ‘Мъртви души’, which translates to ‘Dead Souls’ from Bulgarian/Russian, is largely in the same tradition as the music on the previous recordings, but things have definitely been more refined on this album. The songs can definitely be seen as Raw Black Metal, but it has a clear depressive side. Maybe not so much to give it the predicate ‘Depressive Black Metal’ right away, but certainly enough to give the music a certain unpleasant atmosphere.

The minimalist approach that also characterised the demos so nicely has fortunately remained intact on ‘Мъртви души’. Basically the music can be qualified or described as more folk-based Xasthur, with some subcutaneous melodies and basic Folk Music inspired riffs. As a result, the strumming guitar and simple riffs come into their own, especially towards the end, where the last two tracks magisterially close the album. The penultimate track, ‘Окичен с белези (Demo)’, is a somewhat folky song with a beautiful melody after which the last track leads you out of the album in acoustic fashion.

For now the album has only been made available as a digital stream, but I would be surprised if this wouldn’t get a proper release, sooner than later. If it would not be Narbentage Produktionen again who is signing up for it, I am sure another label will be eagerly picking this up. Splendid stuff.


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