Olhava - Frozen Bloom (2021)

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Delivering an relentless wave of atmospheric brilliance, today we have Russia’s Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal/Blackgaze duo Olhava and their mesmerizing release “Frozen Bloom”. Filled with intensity, ravaging brutality, and yet unparallelled beauty, this release unleashes nearly 60 minutes of crushing music. For fans of bands like Lustre, An Autumn for Crippled Children, Heretoir, Alcest, Deafheaven, etc. this release takes the genre to a whole new level of intensity and explosivity.

Opening with the towering “The Queen Of Fields'' and it’s 20 minutes of sheer intensity, we are treated to lush shoegazey guitars, pummeling drums, frosty harsh screams and crafty tempo changes. The switch between furious onslaughts and more delicate atmospheric dreaminess is one of the band’s strengths and signature moves. The dreamy instrumental “Adrift” paints a more restrained picture with lush arrangements and very introspective moments.

The ravaging aggression returns with the first part of the album title track, and its intense 14-minutes of aural bliss. We particularly love these kinds of bands and tracks that create a thick atmosphere, and with subtle changes project different cinematic landscapes. The second part of the album title track is more of a sidereal journey with crafty and yet minimalistic atmospherics that ease the listener back into reality.

As a whole, “Frozen Bloom” is one impressive release that does a few things extremely well. The atmosphere and intensity is nicely contrasted by more exploratory and minimalist elements, creating a very dissonant and yet aurally pleasing experience. We are certainly going back in the band’s catalogue as this high-level of refinement in their sound was probably achieved by some very interesting earlier releases.

Band: Olhava Album: Frozen Bloom

Label: Avantgarde Music

Release: May 7th, 2021

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Genre: Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal/Blackgaze

Country: Russia

Rating: 95/100
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