Bosnia and Herzegovina
Review by Vladimir on July 28, 2023.
Throughout my years of exploring the deep bowels of black metal, I always found it very confusing and weird that Bosnian’s black metal scene is rarely brought up in a discussion, especially when talking about bands from ex-Yugoslavian countries. The only black metal band that anyone mentions is KRV and that’s pretty much it, although there are still other bands that not many people bothered to check. Among their roster of bands, a new blood has joined the unholy ritual, that being the band Izrod from Sarajevo. Izrod consists of members from various bands within Bosnia’s black metal circle, one of them being the renowned graphic designer and illustrator Ainul Iblis. From what I’ve gathered, Izrod was formed by former members of the band Void Prayer, so in a way it can be considered as a spiritual successor or a new entity that morphed from the ashes of old. The topic of this review will be their debut album Sarajevski Odisej, which was initially released on April 7th, 2023 via their Bandcamp page, and as of July 14th, 2023 the album was also released on physical 12” vinyl and CD format via the label Signal Rex. Let’s see what exactly is this hideous abomination, shall we?
Izrod’s black metal style seems very simple and straightforward with the standard use of tremolo picking and down-picking riffs, mid-tempo drumming and blast beats, although with deeper harsh vocals. Other traditional black metal traits that you’ll come across are those diabolic and eerie open string chord riffs during slower sections or clean guitar riffs as interludes, but on the side, there are plenty of other bits such as groovy riffs on 'Siva Smrt' and cool bass lines/bass solos throughout each song. The musical formula is consistent from one song to another, but there are certain moments that stand out, especially the first track 'Prokleto Gorje' which incorporates some unusual ethno/folk elements expressed with guitar melodies. Other than that, everything remains all around the same and although it may not be much, it is honest work nonetheless. Despite how long the songs are, each one of them still manages to provide some enjoyable riffs, solos etc., especially that on tracks 'Sarajevski Odisej' and 'Od Zime, Vlage I Muke', which have some Watain-like moments, so you can’t really say that this is all around flat and one-dimensional. Although I didn’t really find the song all that memorable or spectacular, I still think that the album’s minimal work was put to a good use and it certainly does a good job at holding your attention from one track to another. The sound production for this album has some crunchy raw sounding guitars, which in my opinion blended nicely with the drums and the deeper harsh vocals with a slight vocal distortion.
Sarajevski Odisej is an overall very solid joyride that keeps you entertained all throughout, so I would say that it’s a both good album and a good debut for the band Izrod. People who have been following the artist Ainul Iblis and his numerous bands/projects should probably check this one out as well if you’re interested, I believe you may find something to your liking.
Rating: 7.7 out of 10256