Ogdru Jahad- I
A savage and bestial grind from beginning to end, Ogdru Jahad's I is an album which fits comfortably into the mechanically putrid rot and filth of the scene, going through the ritualistic motions for a solid, uninspiring 30 minutes. Complete with blasphemous artwork and Lovecraftian references, I is an album as predictable as it ugly, minus of course the brilliant cover art, though this is another staple of the scene that shouldn't be surprising, or the limited edition clear vinyl the album comes on(only 200 copies of course).
That's the thing about I that I find far more fascinating; its an album that feels like it was created in some sort of Ross Bay Cult-styled atomic generator which is pushing out filth encrusted, bullet-belted abominations in droves. I itself couldn't be a more basic album; it sounds like Blasphemy, Conqueror and Archgoat, with hints of Thrash and First Wave Black Metal mixed in for extra credibility. It features no unique traits to speak of, other than perhaps a pair of songs which sound like they feature the same exact riff played only slightly differently in "Unholy Blessings" and "Empty Jehovah." There are some killer tracks to be sure, with the groovy and barbaric "Weeping of Angels" and the utterly uncompromising and blistering "Necromantic Rites" standing out a solid highlights. "Necromantic Rites" in particular features a hint of dissonance and mildly complex song structure, though it's fleeting and the grind will overwhelm all originality before the end.
What's more fascinating about I is how neatly in fits into the current Bestial Black/Death scene; another "super group" release featuring members of a dozen other bands including the mighty Lucitation and Sadomator. It features glorious cover art courtesy of Alexander L Brown, whose done the artwork for dozens of other similar albums. It's released on one of the premiere labels for such albums in Iron Bonehead Productions, and comes in both black and limited edition clear vinyl(it's since been released on CD as well). You can check the boxes both sonically and culturally with I and neatly place in on the bookshelf in between your Gods of War re-press and your H.P. Lovecraft biography, never to be listened to after a few initial spins again and more than likely to end up on discogs.com for triple what was paid for it new 5 years from now.
In an of itself, Odgru Jahad's I is an inoffensive album which has some limited visceral intensity, but it's an album so comfortable and safe that it feels stale and bland right out of the gate. From the very second the opening sample fades out and the opening riff slices through the air, the next 30 minutes is laid out directly in front of you, the bloody puzzle pieces stitched together smoothly. No bumps, no pauses and no mercy. And no fun.