REVIEW: SUIDAKRA – “Realms Of Odoric”
German metal band Suidakra, with eleven studio albums and a wealth of experience under their belt, are ready to unleash their new album ‘Realms of Odoric’ on May 20, 2016. In the vein of Kris Vervimp’s and Suidakra frontman Arkadius Antonik’s collaboration under the same name ‘Realms of Odoric’, this soundtrack-inspired project contains thirteen tracks that show the band in full musical splendour.
Despite the band opting for a fairly-straightforward metal approach towards song-writing in terms of guitars and drums, the folk elements add a tinge of diversity and uniqueness to the songs. The albums opener “Into the Realm” and the first full-length track “The Serpent Within” show what to expect from the rest of the album –a mix of atmospheric elements, with generous portions of bagpipe, and melodic death metal with frequent lead guitar-work.
Arkadius is prominent as ever in the mix, delivering harsh vocals which fall into place perfectly between his rhythm guitar-playing and the leads. The dual guitar attack by him and Marius “Jussi” Pesch is complemented by Lars Wehner’s drumming, which isn’t overly technical but is intense and furious at the same time. “The Hunter’s Horde” is an example of this interplay, where Lars’ double bass runs blend with the guitar leads and vocals, allowing the song to deviate into anthem-like sections later on for maximum effect.
“Braving the End” and “Creeping Blood” sound like fillers, but they give the listener a breather after a barrage of metal, and these short tracks are decent listens. However, the rest of the tracks remain faithful to the melodic death approach and are enjoyable in themselves, but not so much in the context of the whole album, as some may feel monotony kicking in. All of a sudden, Suidakra pulls out all the stops and delivers an absolute gem in the track “On Roads to Ruin”, featuring memorable and catchy passages.
The bagpipes are back in tracks like “One Against the Tide”, and working along with some symphonic elements, take this song to the next level by introducing a bass fill by Tim Siebrecht, who isn’t as prominent up to this point, save for his clean singing in “The Serpent Within” and other songs. As the album draws to a close, “Cimbric Requiem” delivers a mesmerising finale with its epic-sounding symphonies, and the band proves you don’t need a hard-hitting death metal track to conclude an album in a memorable way.
With the epic finale “Cimbric Requiem”, Suidakra ends what has been a diverse, well thought-out album, as most tracks make sure to draw the listener in with haunting melodies and interesting folk elements. Overall, ‘Realms of Odoric’ is an album showing an experienced band arguably in its creative prime. Being inspired by soundtrack-like music is perhaps what made the songs on this album sound large, definitive, and unrelenting in their intensity, and one can only wait to see what Suidakra conjures up next.