Sunday 27 October 2013

Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu - Album Review

Oranssi Pazuzu is a Black Metal / Space Rock / Psychedelic / Experimental Band from Finland.

The members are:

Jun-His: the voice, close distance guitar
Moit: deep space guitar
Korjak: drums
Evill: synthesizers, organ, effects
Ontto: bass guitar

With the recent inaugural Housecore Horror Film Festival still fresh in our nightmares, now is the perfect time to get to know Oranssi Pazuzu. Few bands epitomise the creative marriage between horror films and heavy metal better than these Finns. In the world of doom there’s Blizaro and Head of the Demon, for electronic soundscapes with metallic touches there’s Werewolves in Siberia and Lazerhawk, the death metal / horror standard is still Portal and for black metal, there’s HHFF darlings BlackQueen and Oranssi Pazuzu. There are others but for now, let’s concentrate on O.P.

When I say black metal, I’m not talking about asphyxiating walls of sound and nauseating blast beats interrupted intermittently by screeching vocals. Oranssi Pazuzu certainly makes black metal their starting point, but there’s nothing ordinary about their music. Where most black metal bands will smother a listener in noise, Oranssi Pazuzu incorporate the open spaces of doom in order to hint and suggest things in the shadows of their tones, although, it takes a little while for the band to get there on the album. The opening pair of tracks is relatively straightforward. They put the band’s identity on display: roomy arrangements, blood curdling vocals and keyboards as a lead instrument. It isn’t until we reach “Uraanisula” [molten uranium], the album’s centerpiece that the real genius of Oranssi Pazuzu reveals itself like insects crawling from a disturbed corpse.

This isn’t sunshine pop. This is night music, music to turn the lights out to and to blast at high volume. Instrumental “Reikä Maisemassa” [Hole in the Landscape] takes it to a whole other level. Paranoia inducing echoes and spine tingling synth scales have you looking over your shoulder. Loose stringed bass jangles like a giant spider, and disembodied howls get the sweat pouring and I’ll be damned if this four and two thirds minute interlude isn’t the true highlight of the disc, a necropolitan chart topping single.

But for those that crave a little bit more traditional structure and arrangements, the follow-up “Olen Aukaissut Uuden Silmän” [I am (for) opening a new eye] isn’t exactly a Walt Disney production either. Chilling soundscapes give your delicate nerves some Celtic-ally Frost-ed tips and you get the impression in places, here and there, that this is the kind of music that Rob Zombie could only dream of making, because there’s a sense of fun here as well. Oh, you’re not on a Hollywood set. The house is real, its murderous history tragically true, the staircase really is rotted and the cobwebs aren’t props, but there’s a fun thrill in roaming around this forbidden territory, isn’t there? All the more fun because you might really get hurt.

The sense of adventure comes from the band’s space rock leanings, and as you listen to closing track “Ympyrä On Viiva Tomussa” [The circle is a line in the dust] you realize that the haunted house is actually located on a hostile and distant planet. It shouldn’t be there, the explorer thinks. Gasp! This planet was never inhabited by man!!

I don’t know anything about Oranssi Pazuzu. I don’t know whether this is their first or tenth album. All I have to go on is the music and what I know is that ‘Valonielu’ is a grotesquely gorgeous soundtrack to nightmares. If you’re daring enough, won’t you enter the haunted house of the orange demon on that hostile planet? Horror fans, I’ll see you in there!

Written by Lucas Klaukien

Thanks to Nathan and Svart Records for sending us a promo to review. Valonielu is available to buy now from Svart Records & 20 Buck Spin from all good stockists now.

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