Oranssi Pazuzu – Valonielu (20 Buck Spin)Friday, 8th November 2013
A trait of a good album, to me, can lie in its ability to create a potent mood or to virtually change the landscape surrounding the listener – the music being the ignition to stoke the listener’s uniquely warped imagination. Of course, this is only one of a myriad of enjoyable highs facilitated by a good piece of work…some out there may even help to get you laid. While that’s not always being the case in the world of heavy metal, other cool trips abound, and while listening to the latest release from Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu, entitled Valonielu, I was struck by the urge to drive. Subjective as music is, the sound offered here evokes in me an urge to drive fast through a darkened city. Zipping through empty tunnels sparsely lit with florescent lights, rocketing through patches of steam rising from sewer lines under desolate city streets, Valonielu is the soundtrack to my midnight drive.
Falling into the category of psychedelic black metal, Oranssi Pazuzu is a five-piece who fit that description well especially in that this is darkly psychedelic stuff – well away from the organic and soothing trippy trappings one might immediately think of. Well placed and with good restraint to allow the music to swell and breathe, the vocals are channeled through the anger of black metal. The rest of the music, however, is not your run-of-the-mill BM, by any stretch. It is slow to mid-paced and sonically robust. Clean and distorted guitars, fuzzed-out bass, synthesizers, eerie effects and haunted melodies, pounding rhythms and winding grooves all churn their way through six songs to make these 46 minutes a good, cohesive trip indeed.
I struggle a bit to suggest a direct comparison to Oranssi Pazuzu, but if I had to toss out a couple notable names here, perhaps Valonielu might sound a little like a mesh of Cult of Luna and Mayhem on a ton of sedatives. Give the track “Vino Verso” a try and maybe it will take you too for a drive, or at least, sink you deeper into your couch.