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The One You Ought To Listen First - 91%

saakelinpalvaaja, March 17th, 2014

Oranssi Pazuzu is a finnish psychedelic black metal band. They released their first album in 2009, called Muukalainen Puhuu (The Sojourner Speaks) and it was a blast. Somewhere between the lengthy tracks the band forgot to play black metal and went for a more straightforward trippin' (if such is ever straightforward). The formula has stayed the same and what could be said of their debut can be said of Valonielu. Kosmonument was already a step forward, but behind all of it's - well - monumental shell, beat the same heart and for many it was a bit of a letdown. A bit too cosmic to stay on it's course and a tad too monumental to keep you enthralled all the way.

On "Valonielu", Pazuzu makes a slightly bigger shift. The sound is somewhat more mature. Though the thought of using the word in this context repels me,but I am obliged to do this.Valonielu is simply huge, but not too monumental like it's nearest predecessor. It's a definite grower, just like all the albums songs. Almost dull and somewhat empty at the beginning, but a sure destroyer by the end. At first it seems like a compromise album, but after some 20 spins I had changed my mind. The opener "Vino Verso" (Askew Sprout) is built largely around one riff, one that could smash your face right in if it wanted to. Nevertheless, matters never seem to escape the control of Jun-His, Ontto, Korjak, EviL and Moit as they almost always escape the flaws on most anyone trying to build a song which includes nothing but one part. "Tyhjä Temppeli" (The Empty Temple) is filled with delicately crafted and masterfully controlled chaos that perfectly continues into "Uraanisula" (Molten Uranium), which begins as a distantly echoing picking, before turning into a slow Panzerkampfwagen on it's way to annihilation of the universe. Heavy as it is powerful. "Olen Aukaissut Uuden Silmän" (I Have Opened A New Eye) is perhaps the most typical black metal song on the album, yet covered in tingles of psychedelia. Actually the whole album feels like a one creation, split into multiple passages, more so than the band's previous efforts.

The best moments of this album are the ones where the band focuses more on the chilling, spacey painting. Where no vocals, distorted guitars or other elements of black metal can be heard. Despite Oranssi Pazuzu's static (loads and loads of repetition on this one. Up to a point which makes their earlier albums seem like prog..) approach to their songs and numerous other experimenters in the black metal genre, they manage to come of as pretty unique and intriguing group. If you're new to the band listen to this album, their most focused first, give it a good 20 spins and then venture into the older material. Valonielu (a void that sucks in light in particular) is their most easily approached album, yet it isn't easy at all. It doesn't uncover the bands full potential, glimpses of which can be heard on the earlier releases. However personally I feel this is their best yet. And like always the production is flawless.

Recommended tracks: Vino Verso, Ympyrä On Viiva Tomussa