It starts, and it is, off kilter. The dissonance curdles a smile across my face. Oranssi Pazuzu have returned once again to dispatch their brand of freakish, psychedelic black metal to the world, and we are all better for it. These Finns have something special locked up and they dole it out to the satisfaction of eardrums ready to be taken by it. A hypnotizing gyre that slithers with the troubling tenderness of an ulterior nature. This is not a nap on a Surrealistic Pillow, this is not Magical or Mysterious, at least not in the sense that the 60’s would have you believe it to be purveyed. This is infected, damaged, compromised, and operating on a plain that seeks, and revels, in the destruction of all things. There are good trips. There are bad trips that happen to good people. This is a good trip happening to a bad person. They were correct when they stated that this album was darker than anything they have done before.
I came on board with Oranssi during their release of Kosmonument. They quickly became an obsession. I have compared them to a metal version of The Field in other reviews. I stick by that statement in the sense that they do groove out a melody, subtly adding changes and complimentary additions under the ear of the listener. This album is a whole other beast. Gone are the strange, yet harmless, psychedelic flourishes and excursions. Welcome are the disturbing, harmful, and festering moods. The instruments circle like carrion birds. The melodies sink, drift, and deprecate. The tattered soul and purpose of former Oranssi remains, sometimes they drift away from their unsavory habitat, though they always find a way to slink back to their original spawn point.
The first three tracks flow through like an incantation, a summoning requiring filthy prerequisites. It is not until the fourth song, “Hypnotisoitu viharukous,” that the energy reaches a fever pitch and something resembling a traditional black metal song. One could almost forget their beginnings, where black metal was the origin of weird. Now, weird is something foreign and black metal assists in the atmospherical and structural delivery. What Oranssi Pazuzu has done, and done so exceptionally well, is help push the evolutionary process further of what it means to be “metal.” We must applaud those that strive, succeed, and continue to evolve their ideas; the guitar riff that drives the beginning portion of “Vasemman kaden hierarkia,” is testament. Then, as if the beginning isn’t sinister enough, they slow it down at the end, followed by the scorching flames of fire and the whipping of the wind.
The album ends on the backs of two solid melodies dragged and dredged through the mind. Disorienting as some of it may seem, where embrace is the only option to last, when the spinning world has overcome the defenses of a now useless intellect, it lasts, it continues. Some may say that this album is short in “heft,” I would say this album doesn’t need “heft” in order to be hefty, or heavy. Another excellently strong album for 2016, one of many to come, one of many to be enjoyed, and one of many to be considered for the top spot on the year end list.