When it comes to “Symphonic” Black Metal it’s easy to identify the obvious bands. Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, even Bal-Sagoth (my personal favorite) steal a lot of the attention and in the mid the late 90’s when every single band ever was a symphonic black metal band it’s not surprising a lot bands got passed over or lost in the cacophony. Odium is one such band, and if you ask me (which you fucking are) this one stands toe to toe with the best of the genre.
Symphonic Black Metal typically means black metal with the addition of, or in many cases, overbearing orchestra and symphony instrumentation. Usually provided via keyboard though some bands actually used full on orchestra’s. I bet there wasn’t a single orchestra in all of Scandinavia in the late 90’s that was getting asked about being on a black metal album, but I digress. Where Odium varies is in the use of cosmic and astral themes as a basis for their symphonic elements, as well as a musical sound constructed in a classical sense. The symphonic elements are just added for the sake of it or to appeal to a predesignated genre sound, they’re full and present and part of each song. The move along with the instruments and when they need to be louder they are and when they need to fall back they do. It’s one whole, concise, masterful production of intense symphonic black metal and it deserves MUCH more recognition that it has now.