(20 Buck Spin)
The first time I came across these guys was back in 2010, on a hyped up underground black metal release called Kosmonument. From the first listen I could tell that Oranssi Pazuzu were doing something interesting, different and altogether noteworthy. Their brand of cosmic black metal definitely took that year by storm and many people considered Kosmonument to be one of the best black metal albums that they’d heard that year. Well, fast forward to 2013 and another new release called Valonielu, which sees the band increasing their trip factor hundredfold.
They begin the album with Satyricon influenced black and groove on “Vino Verso” and certainly aren’t afraid to throw unforeseen electronics into the mix. But if you think that these guys have decided to go the way of Sonic Reign or Stellar Master Elite, then you’d be wrong as the next track “TyhjÄ Temppeli” brings in light percussion and an array of psychedelic riffs backed by the same scowls that you should already know and expect from this music. It’s definitely still black metal at its core, and I’m sure that most of the blackened hordes will recognize this and accept it as an innovation rather than an invitation to blasphemy. “Uraanisula” brings on the album’s first epic as it stretches well across the universe to ignite the stars. Some black metal will still creep up on this track, but it’s certainly well-disguised by an array of prog elements and otherworldly soundscapes. “ReikÄ Maisemassa” sends the disc into light electronic influenced atmospheres, as “Olen Aukaissut Uuden SilmÄn” puts the heavy kick back in, albeit with some more space travel. Our final voyage is “YmpyrÄ On Viiva Tomussa” which is the album’s second epic, starting out with a whimper and ending with a bang – possibly in resemblance to the same big bang that apparently created the universe.
I thought it integral to take you through an album like this, but I digress and will admit that my words just don’t manage to justify its magnificence. There is a possibility that the inspiration for this release might have come from actual sounds of space as recorded by NASA in the late nineties, so if one wants to know what would happen if the cold sounds of a Norwegian forest were transported somewhere out into the middle of the universe; then look no further than the mindboggling trip that Oranssi Pazuzu has created here. Personally, I don’t think you’re going to find a more cosmic black metal album this year, so if you can’t afford a trip with Virgin Galactic and just have got to get your corpse-painted ass out into space; then strap on your space-suit and pop this one in, because it’s going to be a long ride. As corny as this might sound, Oranssi Pazuzu’s Valonielu is truly out of this world! (Eric May)