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Oranssi Pazuzu - Kosmonument CD (album) cover


Oranssi Pazuzu


Experimental/Post Metal

3.93 | 19 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Kosmonument' - Oranssi Pazuzu (81/100)

It was relatively easy to get obsessive over Oranssi Pazuzu. Even years into their career, they've retained a monopoly on a style fusion that's as striking in practice as it was promising on paper. If too much talk is spent on the band's genre, it's only because Oranssi Pazuzu stand in a world of their own. not that psychedaelia and black metal haven't been fused in the past, but only here does it sound like a blended, balanced marriage. They are host to a surreal, hazy real. Is this what the Norwegian Second Wave would have sounded like if they had been raised in 1970s West Germany?

I still remember when I was showed Muukalainen puhuu back in 2009. The sheer authenticity they gave to the psychedelic nd was enough to set them apart from virtually every other psych-black band I'd heard at the time. Oranssi Pazuzu's debut still stands as one of the most singular experiences I've come across in music. Even then, the material itself left room for improvement. While they had practically nailed the execution from the beginning, Muukalainen puhuu's atmosphere may have been just a bit too campy for their own good. The dark fuzzy turn they took on the follow-up Kosmonument saw fit to legitimize their style even further.

It's sometimes debatable to me whether Kosmonument may actually be Oranssi Pazuzu's best album. It's easily the most bloated thing they've done, lacking the focus of Valonielu or concentration of Värähtelijä. Regardless, of any album they've done to date, I find Kosmonument is the easiest to get lost in. Oranssi Pazuzu also arguably plunged to their darkest depths here. where Muukalainen puhuu may have sounded playful, it's hard to make the same argument about Kosmonument's fuzzy nightmare aura. Even if the album could have used trimming in places, the sheer excess is what sets the album apart from others in the band's discography.

Oranssi Pazuzu opted for a more album-centered approach on Kosmonument than the song-by- song impression of the debut. Although this resulted in fewer standout pieces than other albums, the choice to approach the album as a single piece of work served the end result well. Each track flows from one to another in an intuitive stream. At the potential cost of melodic hooks, they placed more emphasis on texture and fuzzy effects. Though not to the spaced out extent of Värähtelijä, Kosmonument never rushes to get anywhere. The hazy flow of the album definitely draws from the psychedelic end of Oranssi's sound; I think it served the band well to align themselves so closely with disciplines not often heard otherwise within a black metal context. The way things are done here, the atmosphere and timbre are made more important than the songwriting itself. Not that the composition ever slacks, but it's seldom been the reason why they've stood out as much as they do.

The fact that I've seen Kosmonument lauded and decried as the best and worst Oranssi Pazuzu album in different places should testify to its significance in their career. A more reliable album like Valonielu may hit closer to the mark more of the time, but the purpose of experimental music should be to rile and divide. While the debut still has great charm, this is the album where I think Oranssi Pazuzu really legitimized themselves as a "serious" act-- whatever that means. Where the vibe of Muukalainen puhuu could have been brushed off as a well-made gimmick on a jaded day, Kosmonument pushed it so much further.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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