Frankly, little or nothing is known about these Osoka, except that they hail from Russia and are the authors of caliginous and intense postmetal sludge doom as scripted. The scanty biography in my possession places them in the wake of more established acts such as Jesu, Khanate, Nadja and Halo and, certainly, such affinities can be found even if the underlying feeling is that Osoka are more skewed toward the sludge side and much less toward the drone or industrial side. This aspect, I cannot deny, certainly makes them more palatable to me, and the scant hour or so of this self-titled second disc proves to be an enjoyable if far from easy reading experience. Not at all willing to take prisoners, the Russian lads present themselves with an opening one-two punch that leaves no doubt as to their intentions; twenty minutes in total capable of annihilating any psycho-physical resistance, 13000 in particular proves to be an impressive broadside, made all the more hostile by the vocal litany that lingers throughout its duration. Repetitive and perhaps a bit derivative? True, but groups like Osoka, who have a very different musical substratum behind them than Western bands, have on their side that extra edge stemming from expressive urgency that is at the antipodes of the mannerism into which those who have already experienced the best moments of their careers often fall. In Otec and Mantra some hint of melodic opening peeps out, but overall the whole work stands on an alienating atmosphere, accentuated by the recurring use of a psalmodic voice that is an original alternative to the more usual use of scream or other solutions of more immediate disturbing impact. On balance, one cannot but be satisfied with Osoka‘s proposal and it remains, therefore, to hope that this album of theirs is only a stage in a musical journey with interesting prospects.
2013 – Slow Burn
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