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Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu CD (album) cover


Oranssi Pazuzu


Experimental/Post Metal

4.00 | 26 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars If ever there was a band to finally warrant the creation of a fully-fledged subgenre called psychedelic space metal, then this Finnish band, ORANSSI PAZUZU surely must catalyze that process to the breaking point even if a gazillion other spacey metal bands ranging from Arcturus, Smohalla, A Forest Of Stars, Nachmystium, Hail Spirit Noir or even certain aspects of Sigh didn't exactly get it there. It must be that ORANSSI PAZUZU (Finnish for "orange" plus the name of a wind demon from Babylonian mythology) simply has done it so well, that is in mixing psychedelic space rock with black metal that is literally impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins at times despite there being clear cut phases where each dominates the sonic scene. This debut release MUUKALAINEN PUHUU ("The Alien Speaks") pulls off the perfect marriage of psychedelia and space oriented rock with a black metal ugliness. The album cover alone tells exactly what's in store, namely an extraterrestrial journey into the inner and outer recesses of the darkened cosmos above and within. The spacey organs bring early 70s Krautrock bands to mind and the repetitive rhythmic grooves do indeed bring bands like Can and Neu to mind.

The sounds on MUUKALAINEN PUHUU are characterized by long and drawn-out sweeping progressive sonicscapes that establish a darkened and tripped out atmospheric presence with ample use of ambient effects and synthesized avant-garde fixings. Once these psychedelic mood enhancers are fully established, the five musicians who make up this band from Tempere lets loose with some heavy grooves that somehow simultaneously evoke the heavy psych pioneers of the past while still allowing a black metal bleakness to rip through the veneer. Generally speaking, the guitar riffs are groovy in composition but distorted and blackened in tone and intensity. The raspy vocals of Jun-His are what keep the overall sound grounded in a pure black metal feel as do the heavy riffs but when strange lounge lizard type keyboard runs dance around the distorted string section it creates a most peculiar contrast but somehow the crystal clear production has a way of balancing out the opposing forces. Some of the organ and synthesizers sound haunting like lost ghosts on the solar winds.

This isn't the kind of black metal that's vile and vicious. There is no buzz saw feedback wall of sound nor are there angry and hateful temper tantrums. This is a cold and mysterious type of metal with swirling sounds and carefully unleashed aggressiveness that perfectly accompanies the imagery and perhaps the most ideal of space shuttle soundtracks for metal heads. Perhaps one of the reasons this combo effect works so well is the common element that both heavy psych and black metal share and that would be the repetition of grooves that keep the listener hooked and hypnotized. ORANSSI PAZUZU pulls off a double play in this regard as this music both stimulates and mesmerizes simultaneously and always remains spectral while guitar riffs that seem to go slightly in and out of tune provide an underlying tension. While some tracks are heavier and deliver a more raw second wave black metal attack, some parts sound more like they could have been just as comfortable in some 60s club setting minus the raspy vocals of course. ORANSSI PAZUZU's debut is quite the captivating listen as it not only has a totally unique sound already fully established but varies the tracks enough to keep the magic alive for an entire album's worth of material. While they would perfect their fusion techniques on subsequent releases, MUUKALAINEN PUHUU is already an astonishing psych metal album in its own right.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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