Ols – Ols (Review)

OlsOls is a one-woman neofolk project from Poland. This is her debut album.

This is a release that’s spiritually inspired by atmospheric black metal in some ways, (and also features cover versions of Katatonia and Agalloch tracks), but is musically separate from the style. Essentially a neofolk release, the album also takes influence from dark ambient and alternative rock/pop in places.

The defining feature of the songs, and the most prominent, is the vocals. This is luscious, beautifully performed clean singing that shows a lot of complexity in its delivery, always with a view to evoking emotive atmospheres and moods.

The singer’s voice is rich and textured, and the complex melodic layers and entwined harmonies that she uses are very well done. Her voice is definitely the driving force of the tracks, but that’s not so say the music itself should be completely discounted though.

Although I don’t think she’s directly inspired by her, (I could be wrong of course), I hear echoes of Enya in this work; Enya, if she was filtered through a darker lens and from a metal background, of course.

Overall these songs are well-written and performed, with the brains behind the outfit showing that she obviously has a talent for this kind of output.

All of the material here is enjoyable, but some of the more upbeat, folk-y parts are less my kind of thing. Due to my personal musical preferences, my favourite moments are when her voice, (and the music), journeys to darker, slower places. I find that this is where she really comes into her own and the songs accrue a great deal more power in these moments.

Although musically this is quite disparate from the bulk of what’s featured on this site, it’s spiritually from the same background.

Give this a chance and see what you think.

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