Odmetnik are a pretty young label from Beograd, Serbia, focused on Doom Metal especially, yet not of the poppy kind. The label, by the way, is run by Miloš Vojinović, aka Škoms, the guy behind the Serbian Doom-band Propoved. The fifth release on their roster is the debut-EP of Swedish act Acolytes Of Moros, which was formed in 2010 as side-project for Anguish and Inception, if I’m not mistaken. The trio consists of vocalist / bassist Christoffer ‘Xemtoth’ Frylmark (ex-Mortau, ex-Bûrzthrakal, and currently active in Grief and Anguish), guitar player Simon Carlsson (think: Inception), and drummer Rasmus ‘Vargr’ Jansson (of Anguish / Mortau-fame).
Despite consisting of four tracks only, Illusions Of Progress has duration of forty minutes. It brings a slightly traditional-oriented form of Doom Metal, yet certainly not of the sabbathesque or candlemassy kind (though there’s nothing wrong with sounding like those acts, of course). Opener The Path To… lasts for one single minute only, and it surely sounds like an introduction for an old schooled Doom-Death and / or Funeral Doom epic. But as a matter of fact, Illusions Of Progress have nothing to do with Doom-Death or Funeral Doom at all, so it’s rather confusing. Great introduction anyway… since that first song lasts for one minute only, and since the total running time clocks forty minutes, you can imagine the length of the three other tracks… Enlightenment Through Shadows is the first ‘real’ composition with a length of about ten minutes, and it brings very slow-paced and extremely heavy Traditional Doom. It comes with slightly repetitive rhythms, a firm rhythm section and kind-of mesmerising clean vocals that aren’t quite steady. But who cares about that? Besides, the lead part close to half of the song is truly magnificent (despite its simplicity), and some riffing-intermezzos (for example at around six minutes) come close to an Underground Doom-Black structurisation - and who can resist such beauty??? Oh yes, about this specific song: towards the end, there are some blackened screaming voices too, and the combination of those vocals and the extremely sludgy-doomy approach somewhat reminds me to Unearthly Trance’s debut - but that’s the only mutual comparison; I just think this piece is… With Frozen Landscape, also clocking just over ten minutes, I initially must think about the legendary Necro Schizma debut-demo (damn, I’m getting old…), but pretty soon this song continues in the vein set with the former track, which is a pretty own-faced approach, courtesy of Acolytes Of Moros. It’s heavy, but not angry, and it’s integer, yet not desolate. Reduced To Acquiescence, finally, is the longest track with its eighteen minutes of length, and it starts with a very chilly, bleak, grim monotonous riff. Except for the intro, this might be the most forceful, ominous and bleak track on this release, and the contrast with the (really false!) vocals is almost erotic (‘almost’, I said). Here too that blackened feeling returns, drenching the whole in a mud of slowly-penetrating poisonous fluids.
Despite the lack of variation and the lack of heaviness (although I do not fully agree with myself right now; it’s the sound I am referring too, rather than the performance), I think this is a fine album to listen to. I have no idea if these guys are intending to write and record new material, but if they do so, I am truly thrilled.