Friday, May 29, 2009

Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu (2009)

We've heard the term 'psychedelic black metal' bandied about for years, most often referring to a band like Nachtmystium (not unfairly) because of an obvious nostalgic twist to their recent material, coming across like black metal which was composed in the late 60s and then sent forward in time. In my opinion 'psychedelic' is more an effect on the listener rather than a pre-determined set of sounds or rules, and to this extent, Oranssi Pazuzu certainly qualifies with their debut. Muukalainen Puhuu is a hypnotic journey with only its bare roots in the black metal territory. Like a sapling planted on the moon, it's roots in the dark gray earth but its growth twisted ever into the void of the unknown.

You'll immediately take notice of the striking cover image: an astral astronaut afield of the glow of stars and nebular dust. When listening to this album, I felt much like the cerebral cosmonaut staking ground in an entirely new reality, just as empty as my previous one. The timbre of tin cans, guitar forged ambience and organs shift into a wondrous speed-picked melody worthy of Voivod's finest. The nightmare is known as "Korppi", and explosions of siren-like space effects scream across the repetitious, mesmerizing bass line. Occasionally the track will lapse into a freeform vibe as the space echoes of supernova guitars highlight the planetary dust. "Danjon Nolla" is creepy as fuck, I had to look up at night to make sure a spectral alien star-castle wasn't about to land directly on my house. The pick up riffs are scathing and glorious, but the freakish verse is bound to return before long and you WILL be assimilated. "Kangastus 1968" shifts into a subtle, tranquil blues, like a western space opera saloon if the entire galaxy spoke Finnish. One can hope! The dredge of "Suuri Pää Taivaasta" serves as a semi-sequel, it comes across like a showdown between two dark moons strapping colt .45s and chewing cigars. "Myöhempien Aikojen Pyhien Teatterin Rukoilijasirkka" re-creates black metal into a churning abyss of high speed bluesy guitars, something like 'Nazi Driver-era' Soundgarden of 1989, but with the added terror of more spacey Voivod-esque shifts in rhythm. "Dub Kuolleen Porton Muistolle" is essentially black metal space ragga. I am not fucking with you. Black metal space reggae. Unparalleled, mortifying and exhilirating simultaneously. The title track follows, dark strobing ambience layered in swaths of guitar experimentation. The perfect prelude to the album's mystifying closer, "Kerettiläinen Vuohi", which features perky little surf clean guitars doing a bluesy lick over the jangling dissonant chords. Spellbinding.

An album like Muukalainen Puhuu doesn't come along very often, an album which somehow recreates and celebrates the black miasma of Scandinavian extremity while simultaneously broadcasting entire new realms of possibility into the stale dried metal blood. At first I regarded the disc with something of a curiosity, a curiosity that has now escalated into baited obsession. This is probably the best debut album I have yet heard in 2009, no...the best ALBUM I have yet heard in 2009. If anything deserves your attention lately, it would be this. Not a dry eye in the house. Phenomenal. Phenomena.

Verdict: Epic Win [10/10]


Walri said...
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Walri said...

Dude, I am just starting the first song and it's already fucking great! AWESOME vibes, man! First metal I've really gotten into for a while.