Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu | Review

Two years following the release of 'Kosmonument', a release that bridges the gap between psychedelia and black metal, Finnish act Oranssi Pazuzu are at it again with 'Valonielu'. Since breaking into the scene with their first release, 'Muukalainen Puhuu', these Finns have never shied away from the avant-garde and bizarre. They embrace it. Their third LP is sure to turn some heads with hypnotically catchy songwriting and off-kilter structure, something they have become accustomed to.

A droning keyboard lead ushers in a powerfully catchy riff on “Vino Verso”. This isn’t the standard black metal. There are no crushing blast beats. Instead, Oranssi Pazuzu belts out New Wave focused hooks with synth pop jangles. Jun-His’ vocals, raw and raspy, are beckoning warcries, howling out lyrics in his native tongue. The svelte riff slithers onward with the jazz-like drumbeat as layered keyboard leads texture the track. Creating a trance-like state, Oranssi Pazuzu sails to the end of the track with house music-like keyboard leads, finally ending with a little smidge of drone.

“Tyhjä Temppeli” showcases the band’s New Wave leanings. Oranssi Pazuzu reached into their bag of tricks and what came out was a complete jam of a track. Mesmerizing and catchy, “Tyhja Temppeli” wafts along, carrying with it a krautrock-meets-postrock vibe. Sickeningly sweet keyboards glaze over the track; the drums march onward with beautiful guitar overlays to fill everything out. Oranssi Pazuzu breaks everything open like ripping the skies apart, ushering in mighty strikes of noise with serious bite to them, before calmly settling back into their groove.

“Reikä Maisemassa” is four minutes of psychedelic groove. They create an awkward, disjointed picture; unsettling beats meet a spacey atmosphere, and before long, droning noise begins to creep in. Off in another world altogether, Oranssi Pazuzu not only smash barriers on their music, but reform them entirely, creating something haunting and mystical.

The last track, “Ympyrä On Viiva Tomussa”, combines everything together in a nice but lengthy package. Clocking in at fifteen minutes, the Finnish quintet blends Darkthrone riff techniques with the same kind of New Wave flavor. The track branches off in multiple directions, culminating in a gigantic climax of tremolos and awkward drum patterns. The keyboards and guitars clash against each other for superiority as Jun-His’ vocals let out shrill, forceful screams.

Oranssi Pazuzu cater to the weird. They create songs that cannot simply be black metal. With 'Valonielu', their penchant for psychedelia and New Wave shows. An amalgamation of all these musical stylings, it’s an album that bridges gaps between art rock and black metal. A fully creative and artistic effort that shouldn’t be passed up.

Bill Haff

Band info: www.oranssipazuzu.com
Label info: www.svartrecords.com 

Bill Haff is a Philadelphia-based music critic who also contributes for Cvlt Nation, Metal Injection and Ghost Cult. You can follow him on Twitter at @bill_haff