OvO
Cor Cordium

This is one unholy clusterfuck of an album. OvO create all manner of ruckus on Cor Cordium and cull influences from all over the map to create something as unique as it is difficult to describe.  Written as a tribute to English romanticist Percy Shelley, the duo merge droning noise, death metal, doom and noise rock into a sound that is both crushing and delicate.  It’s the kind of material that will polarize listeners and is a definite try before you buy, but, taken for what it is, it is a tremendous musical achievement.

OvO is a strange band.  Their nearest neighbor would probably be Ahna, but even that is an imperfect comparison.  Perhaps the most succinct description would be something like a mutant child born from Man is the Bastard’s grimy seed and the Melvins feral womb, but this album is more than a sum of its influences.  The album unfolds in a series of ebbs and flows between succinct blasts of noisy sludge and extended droning landscapes.  The duo develop varied sonic landscapes that are as serene and as they are chaotic and twist and turn from the sublime to the absurd.  “Lungo Computo” opens the album with discordant noodling, galloping drums and deranged vocals.  The circular rhythms of “Nosferatu” descend and decay into an abyss of sludge, droning noise and growls.  “Marie” develops a simple lyrical rhythm into a roiling vortex of aggression.  Perhaps the most metallic track on the album, “Orcus” opens with trudging sludge and explodes into a raw, blackened blast.

Interspersed between the sludge clatter are sections of extended droning and waves of noise.  While bands often fail to do this in a way that feels natural, the duos implementation of drone and noise is smart and restrained adding texture and atmosphere.  The album flows between aggressive peaks and depressive valleys, using the droning ambience to heighten the impact of the music and each violent outburst.  Despite the tendency for listeners to skip ambient interludes, in this instance it is genuinely hard to imagine the album existing as a cohesive whole with these sections removed.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the album is that they are able to do so much with so little.  Vocalist Stefania Pedretti displays an uncanny ability to turn sweet nothings into bitter nightmares and shows a marvelous range.  Some of the nasally tones she hits are occasionally grating, see the aforementioned “Marie”, but these moments are few.  This is to say nothing of the racket she pulls from her bass or the performance of drummer Bruno Dorrella.  That he is able to pull such a performance from a floor tom, a snare and a ride cymbal is nothing short of mind boggling.

Cor Cordium an altogether unique animal with amazing spirit, energy and creativity.  It builds and destroys as it smashes through genre boundaries.  It is an inspired musical assault that needs to be heard to be understood and is easily one of my favorite records released thus far in 2011.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
May 9th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: legumbrera

    This sounds interesting!


  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    great review, welcome to the team!


  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    this sounds really cool.


  4. Commented by: jerry

    man people slammed the shit out of this on metal review


  5. Commented by: LongDeadGod

    because it deserved to be slammed. i’m not hearing any smashed genre boundries or inspired musical assault.


  6. Commented by: globox

    As I said straight out, it’s a love-it-or-hate-it affair. In contrast to the Metal Review write-up, I’ve seen reviews say the short songs are the best tracks and the long ones ruin the album so take it for what it is. Then again, this is coming from a person who actually listens to Merzbow.


  7. Commented by: Clauricaune

    Couldn’t stand listening to it all. It wasn’t only boring, but annoying.


  8. Commented by: gabaghoul

    lol globox I didn’t know this was you


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