Every genre of extreme music gets stagnant and needs a kick in the arse. Finland’s ORANSSI PAZUZU provide the type of injection that black metal needs with their third record, Valonielu.
For the unitiated, the band occupy their own space in the avant garde black metal universe. Psychedelia, black metal, and some dark metal are seamlessly blended to create sinister and eerie atmospheres. Perhaps, latter day DODHEIMSGARD and MAYHEM, and early ARCTURUS could serve as loose reference points. It’s easy to picture the band playing somewhere in a forest as the Northern Lights go off in the sky.
From the outset, Valonielu pulls you in and keeps you interested in where the band will go next. The feeling of unpredictability and the novelty of the songs is a compelling force. ORANSSI PAZUZU never stick to a specific song structure or songwriting formula. They do whatever is best for a particular song. A prime example is “Vino Verso,” which features one riff that is repeated throughout the song. “Tyhjä Tempelli” is centered on a tribal beat, bassline, and spaced out guitar effects that rise and fall in a cascade of keyboards. In other words, the record is a cosmic journey.
Valonielu only has six tracks but you would hardly notice that due to the immersive content. They prove that their substance prevails. Also, it’s important to recommend their back catalogue as well.
While other black metal bands are focused on retreading territory that legendary bands have already conquered, ORANSSI PAZUZU forge ahead with their innovative sound. Undoubtedly, one of the best albums of the year. (20 Buck Spin)