Friday 1 March 2013

O.D.R.A - Karl Denke Blües - Review

Karl Denke Blües cover art


Karl Denke Blües


14 December 2012


Chudy Byk - Vocals
Ziółko - Drums
Smalec - Guitar
Karolek aka defekator - Bass
Bartes - Guitar


Alright folks my knowledge of Polish music is limited to death and black metal and progressive rock in which areas the Poles excel. Sludge, doom and such however I didn't really thought existed there. That's why sludgsters o.d.r.a arrived on my doorstep as a very nice surprise. I guess it's time for me to open my eyes and step outside my little box to expand my knowledge of Eastern European heaviness.

First of all I don't understand Polish at all and since all their songs are sung in their native tongue I can't tell you exactly what they are singing about. However I do know who Karl Denke was, the man who gave name to o.d.r.a's third full-length. He was up until his suicide in prison a respected man around Breslau(which is now Wroclau) where he lived. He played organ in the local church but that all came crashing down when police was called to his house after he alledgedly attacked a man with an axe. Apart from finding human flesh in jars the police found a book where Karl filed details about at least 42 people he killed and ate. Rumours abounded that he even sold human flesh as pork at the local market.

So with this little history lesson I can assume that by choosing the title Karl Denke Blües and by playing heavy ass filthy sludge o.d.r.a aren't singing about birds, flowers and puffy white clouds. But my guess is as good as yours.

Opener Widelec Heretyka reminds me so much of Ol' Scratch. It's eerliy reminiscent of the doomy Virginian sludgemasters and I'm just waiting for the latter's Wall Of Doom to appear in front of me. Don't get me wrong though cause this song is very good and o.d.r.a are not copying Ol' Scratch, they simply have the same feel and approach on Widelec Heretyka as their now defunct American counterpart.

And from this moment on they go from strength to strength. To keep the music organic in all it's filth and brutality o.d.r.a incorporate blues and tempo changes in healthy doses. Fear not though because they never let up on the heaviness. And you can smell and taste the sulphur, dirt, fire and brimstone oozing out of the speakers as if Hell is approaching. Layer upon layer of brutality is heaped on top of me all while I'm being sucked into the band's maelstrom of insanity.

If sludge is your thing, then check these guys out. They aren't doing anything new however they are so damned good that it's plain stupidity to ignore them. For me this album works as the perfect stress-reliever because after each listen I feel like I have just worked out real hard and that's an awesome feeling. But that's me, you will have your own interpretation of it. So my final words are...get a copy of Karl Denke Blües simply because it's a very good album made by a very good band that deserves recognition. Ignore o.d.r.a at your peril!

Written By Håkan Nyman

O.D.R.A can be checked out at the following links: