Last Updated on 07:59 PM by Giorgos Tsekas

Genre: Psychedelic Black Metal
Country: Finland
Label: Svart Records
Year: 2016

Oranssi Pazuzu’s return in 2016 was a long awaited album for those who have looked the Orange Demon in the eyes in the past. The previous efforts of this Finnish beast have been progressively heavier, more complex, more spaced out and overall better and one could only imagine where their new album would take them. And us.

“Varahtelija” is nothing like you heard from this band before and the band catalogue’s natural succession at the same time. You can trace trademark elements here and there, for example the vocals are following the same patterns, although even more hellish and uncanny, the black metal basis, the eastern influences, the mild passages and the fully coordinated outbrakes are all here, but the musical concept of the record and the effects it has on the listener is out of proportion even compared with the excellent “Valionelu”. While in the previous record you could clearly division the songs and have something like a road map in the band’s music, in the new record you are dead lost in a neverending nightmare that seems to have a million phases, or even faces. Yes, there are songs as independent entities, but this record is a compact musical depiction of a potential very strong experience. After many listening sessions, I still find it difficult to remember what happens in which song and find it even more difficult not to listen to the whole record as an one piece mandatory catharsis or torture. In the same way that dreams are the Via Regis to the unconscious, “Varahtelija” is a great chance to dive into inner depths and face long before carved but never forgotten fears, undisclosed desires and irrational perversions. The usage of Finnish language in the titles and lyrics makes “Varahtelija” a hermetic riddle in terms of interpretation and gives way to music to shine in all its width and depth and to lead the listener’s imagination through the labyrinths so carefully created.

What Oranssi Pazuzu have managed with that record is not just to play music, but to use it as a means for a transcendental experience, to actually play with music. Embodying influences so diverse as Hawkwind to Swans and traditional black metal to score music in an astonishing production that challenges the listener to play it as loud as possible, the band created yet another musical demon in their series of disturbing interventions to human behaviour. So be it, the memories and the side effects of the listening experience of “Varahtelija” will not easily be faded from the ones who dived into the hole of the cover and managed to get through to the other side.


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