Zola Jesus: Okovi review
A meditation on death and illness, Okovi is not the cheeriest of pieces. A bleak, claustrophobic trip layered in glitchy, bruising beats and stuttering strings it’s no place for the casual listener. There can be a true, glacial beauty in this deep type of suffering, as was the case with Bjork’s Vulnicura which was a stark journey to redemption but always overflowing with heart-scorching emotion. Okovi however, at times feels removed, almost clinical in its interpretation with every track building to a dramatic musical crescendo, but without those moments of quiet contemplation, it can miss the mark on an a true emotional level. Only on the touching Wiseblood is the twisted spine of the album truly revealed. Okovi is an overwrought piece of work by an artist brought to their knees by the devastation of death where the promise of new life has not yet found a way into this heart of darkness.