Zola Jesus Builds An Ethereal Atmosphere In "Okovi"

A unique atmosphere can really make an album standout. This is really the selling point of Zola Jesus's new album, which lives and breathes its spacious atmosphere. Zola Jesus builds an ethereal atmosphere in Okovi, capturing you with a sound you've never quite heard.

From the opening chords, you can tell that Okovi is something different. 'Doma' introduces the record on a calming note, the chords washing over you in gentle waves as she quietly croons "Take me home." A much punchier number follows immediately, 'Exhumed' pounding with an industrial ferocity à la Chelsea Wolfe and her voice takes a more important role. The tortured backing vocals give a darker note to the already urgent track. This darkness is a constant sound throughout the record.

There's a lot of dynamic on Okovi that really makes it stand out amongst the rest. The best part of her unique sound is that it is malleable. The dark, almost industrial pop sound takes a more positive note in 'Ash To Bone,' while strings give it a more melancholy return in 'Witness.' A problem that does occur is that a lot of the time it feels like there's not enough drive in a lot of the songs where there needs to be. The atmosphere is ghastly but there's a point where you wish that the pounding sound had more things booming with it.

Zola Jesus builds an ethereal atmosphere in Okovi, hitting an almost industrial sound infused with elements of pop. It's a very unique combination that really makes for a special album, and though it's not as beefy as it could be, it still stands out as a daring record.

Favorite Track: Exhumed

Least Favorite Track: NMO

Rating: 75 / 100

Stream or buy Okovi on Apple Music: