|Psychadelic Black Metal, Sludge Metal
20 Buck Spin
October 15th, 2013
Release length: 47:25
Valonielu opens up with some distortion and effects that cut in at times to give a brief trippy introduction to “Vino Verso.” About forty seconds in, the rawer, chunky guitars kick in with some rather basic, but very infectious Black Metal riffs and drums that are handled in more of a ritualistic groove Neurosis would approve of. These find some background electronics at work to give it some extra bite in some spots, setting up the potential for a nightmarish acid trip that doesn’t hit. In fact, some songs completely derail this environment all together, such as “Reika Maisemass,” which actually sounds like the score to a pre-nineties Italian Horror film, though starts with some intentionally placed clicking that sounds like an improperly formatted sound file. That noise is well worth sitting through for this specific piece of Ambience, especially since it sets the tone for “Olen Aukaissut Uuden Silman” perfectly. This performance is a far more abrasive Black Metal offering, complete with frostbitten riffs that find background psychadelic effects and keyboards growing richer as the end creeps up.
While all good, none really are as memorable as the two longer cuts. “Uraanisula” holds up to the thicker Black Metal output “Vino Verso” introduces, moving at a trudging pace and generally deeper tone in the guitars and bass, causing the impact to be a lot more powerful, but it’s the background effects later on that cast a haze over the performance, genuinely altering the perception of the music, especially the extended guitar solo. Then there’s the nearly sixteen minute “Ympyra On Viiva Tomussa,” which offers that rhythmic drum beat once more, supported by soothing guitar and bass riffs and additional astral and science fiction effects randomly appearing in the background. These get richer as the tension builds about five-and-a-half minutes in before switching into some crushing Shoegaze inspire Black Metal that finds you lost in the cosmos, or at least staring up at them somewhere in the deserts of Egypt thanks to some of the middle eastern influence that shows up about two-thirds of the way through.
The only problem with Valonielu is that it is just a mixed bag of Metal and atmosphere. Each song is a largely different experience, having very little in common with one another outside the two longest tracks. “Tyhja Tempelli” is the most out of place of them all, having more of a sixties Psychadelic Stoner Rock vibe and upbeat atmosphere despite some of the lead hooks being a bit melancholic. Other times you have a strong frostbitten Black Metal performance, a far more Sludge Metal fueled assault, or just a composition that would better fit the score of a film by Sergio Martino or Lucio Fulci. While variety is usually a good thing, this makes it incredibly hard to try and get invested in the album overall, and leave you feelin very little closure by the end.
That being said, let me first wrap things up by saying this isn’t a bad album, and is well worth checking out, but mostly to sample before buying. Valonielu is composed of six tracks that are well executed and often have enough atmosphere to rarely take you away with the performance. With that in mind, they just don’t work together well enough as their own album, instead working better as independent entities. Oranssi Pazuzu try to do way too much in too small a space, and because of that, this effort actually comes off more like a compilation that works better lumped in with other random songs in a playlist destined for shuffle on your MP3 player. While the band is known for not sticking to one category of metal, this hurts the recording, giving the impression that this is a band still trying to discover what path to take by performing standard Sludge, Stoner, and Black Metal styles with as unique a presence as the band’s Neurosis, Dark Throne, and possibly even Alcest influences can have listeners make them out to be.
01. Vino Verso – 4:53
02. Tyhja Tempelli – 4:36
03. Uraanisula – 12:17
04. Reika Maisemassa – 4:44
05. Olen Aukaissut Uuden Silman – 5:16
06. Ympyra On Viiva Tornussa – 15:40
|Initial Pressing Score: 6/10