Bhleg – Ödhin (Review)

Bhleg - ÖdhinBhleg are a Swedish black metal band and this is their third album.

Having enjoyed 2014’s Draumr Ást and 2018’s Solarmegin, I knew that I had to check out Ödhin when it appeared. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, Bhleg’s music is a form of black metal that’s full of atmosphere and folk influences.

Bhleg wield their raw blackened sound with confidence and ease. The band craft rich soundscapes and use melody and folk elements to build on their blackened base, resulting in a textured work that takes the listener on a journey into nature.

The songs are well-crafted pieces that use differing paces and textures to tell their stories. While the style of this music is undeniably old-school in origin, it feels more like it embodies a certain timeless quality in the way that much of the classic second wave music does. Gyllene Gal, for example, is clearly influenced by Burzum’s keyboard instrumentals, but actually somehow sounds ancient in pedigree.

Grim screams are your primary guide to the band’s world. Clean singing is also used most effectively in places, usually as a background highlight, although not exclusively. Other styles also appear, such as brief spoken word and deeper growls. This all adds just enough variety to enhance the songs, but not too much so as to become distracting.

Bhleg continue to be an enticing and engaging proposition. Ödhin is an album that has a lot to offer fans of atmospheric/folk black metal, and I heartily recommend it.

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