(8/10) Already the fact that this album was written and recorded demands respect. Playing black metal in Egypt doesn't seem to be the easiest thing. I could imagine that it asks for a lot of willpower and dedication for metal music which makes you realizing your metal dreams. As a consequence, line-up changes have happen quite often and mainman Bassem Fakhri had to find new dudes all the time.
Odious from Alexandria released their debut in 2007 which means that "Skin Age" is the band's second output. The Egyptians got quite some support from the Greece metal community. "Skin Age" was produced the DevaSoundz Studios in Athens and the classical orchestration was done, next to Fakhri, by Septic Flesh's Christos Antoniou. The mix and mastering was in the responsibility of Fredrik Nordstorm and Henrik Udd, done at Studio Fredman in Sweden. All this led to a symphonic and bombastic sound of "Skin Age".
Odious finds the right mix of orchestral elements which they combine with raw black metal attacks and deep growls. Bringing together all these elements can easily lead to a sonic disaster. Not in this case. The opener "Crown of Centuries" merges all these various components and the result is a dramatic black metal track that sounds big.
Next to those epical tunes there are the harsher numbers on the album too. "A picture of Dead Art" is such a song, at least during the first minute. Then there is a twist. A female choir joins, followed by a flute and oriental instruments, something that finds its continuation in "AlZar", the next track.
One of the most raging compositions on "Skin Age" is "All the Evidence" which is, in parts, the fastest track on the longplayer.
Odious' "Skin Age" can be, remotely, compared with Dimmu Borgir's classic cooperation from a few years ago, but in the end the Egyptians also included various local elements into their sound which makes them sound different and exciting. Own trademarks and an interesting concept make Odious to a very special listening experience that you shouldn't miss.
- Crown of Centuries
- Crystal Clear
- A Picture of Dead Art
- All the Evidence
- New Mystery
- Dungeon Keys
- Hot Blood Fumes
Label: The Leader Group
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date EU: February 12th, 2016