Andrey Novozhilov – All instruments, Vocals
Timur Yusupov – Drums
1. The Queen of Fields
3. Frozen Bloom I
4. Frozen Bloom II
Atmospheric black metal, having existed for as long as the rest of the black metal canon, came into its own as a genre over the last decade – all around the world bands were springing up combining all types of melodic and echoing musicianship and experimental instruments to the dark morosity of the world’s most controversial metal genre.
Russia was no exception to this explosion, and alongside the noteworthy folk of the atmospheric world like Skyforest and Somn, came Olhava who have released their fourth full record “Frozen Bloom.”
What makes this band unique, in my opinion, is their combination of atmosphere with elements of post-black metal – another genre to emerge in the 2010s. Which makes this band feel something like a natural spring of flowing music and vocals gushing freshly into the cosmos like a mighty river fertilising a new world.
Vocals are woven into the strings and percussion like a well-crafted basket weaved by a native of the band’s homeland. Coming from such a vast nation, it is no surprise to me that this band has an interest in the mysticism existing in the vast forests and valleys that cover Russia’s versatile landscapes.
Olhava have achieved a tone and signature arrangement that is relaxing and uplifting but also leaves you feeling somewhat hollow in the nicest way possible. Whilst I don’t speak Russian, I gathered from the lyrics and aesthetic of the album that this band are focused on nature just like many other good black metal groups to emerge in this sub-genre and others in recent times.
If you want an album that showcases the versatility and thick depths of the black metal world today, Olhava is that band that will make you feel the bliss and solitude of a vast forest and the mythical wonderment such a place can offer the curious-minded. Put this record on to help yourself feel comfortable and warm inside on an evening in front of a roaring fire or watching a crimson sunset. Nature-themed audible bliss at its finest.