Sunday, May 5, 2013


Ork - Blessed by Evil
Folter Records, 2000
Genre: Black Metal

1. Beneath the Veil of Mystery
2. Black Soul Desire
3. Riding through the Carpathian Snowpaths
4. Alone and Immortal
5. Blessed by Evil
6. Nosferatu

Ork is a semi-random purchase.  It’s random in the sense that I have never heard of this band before, it’s not random in the sense that it is released by Folter Records.  In my interest to own all the Folter releases I picked this up.  I don’t know how this band progressed over the years at all and maybe I will find this out later, but for now this is their debut full length.

I am happy to report that my decision to buy this based on Joerg releasing the album was a good one.  Once again Folter has not let me down in introducing me to a new and good band.  However, I should stress that they are not really a great band.  I think many critics out there would consider Folter as releasing fairly “safe” bands overall.  Bands which, on their own, are actually very good, but are not good enough to move the genre forward in a lot of cases.  That doesn’t stop me from wanting Folter releases, because while Ork may not be bringing anything new to the genre, they are excellent at performing a tried and true method of Black Metal.  I don’t always want to listen to ground breaking bands or bands that are so avant-garde you may as well put their CD’s in an art gallery.  Sometimes I just want solid and well performed Black Metal and that’s exactly what Ork is giving us.  At times the bands guitar work reminds me a bit of what Trimonium does, but not nearly as good.  Even though Ork was around long before Trimonium, I feel like Trimonium just did it better.  Ork is a little more general in their approach and they layer leads rather sparingly against the rhythms.  The vocals are very monotonous and I do wish the vocal performance was a little more dynamic.  There is a little bit of keyboard flair throughout the album, but it is used very little.  I am thankful for this, because drowning guitar lines like this in keyboards would just be a poor choice.  When they do use extended keyboard sections it is actually rather far away in the mix, so it never overwhelms the music at all.  I really appreciate this for sure.

While not one of Folter’s must hear bands, this is certainly a solid release.  I can’t imagine any Black Metal fan outright hating this.  In fact the only complaint that would come out is that it is a fairly generic release of music that has already been written.    I am a little more liberal in my view of this stuff… I just like well performed Black Metal.  For me I stumble upon too much poorly performed and poorly written material, so I feel appreciative when I hear a band that can at least perform the music well.  Ork is definitely worth checking out if you’ve exhausted all your essential bands to hear.

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