Black metal mixed with Post-rock, Black mixed with Crust, Black metal mixed with Shoe gaze… the list goes on. Black metal is the genre that goes with everything. As long as you can play some evil sounding chord with some tremolo and add some shrieking vocals, you too can mix some « Black metal » with whichever style you want. The Finnish from Oranssi Pazuzu have decided nine years ago that Black metal could go well with Psychedelic rock and have since honed their craft on three albums, and a split with the Finnish avant garde metal band Candy Cane. Until Värähtelijä I must admit I had failed to understood the adulation that some had for this band. There was no balance between the two style they intended to mix and everything seemed off, like a Black metal band trying to sound different or a Psychedelic rock band unable to understand how to make their music heavier. But now, I’m eating my words and standing back in admiration while listening to Värähtelijä.
Unlike its dark predecessor, Valonielu, this fourth album sees Oranssi Pazuzu embrassing fully the psychedelic side of their music with some beautiful introspective melodies full of flash of energy. Like splashes of colors thrown across a wall, each minutes bring a new level of density to the universe Oranssi Pazuzu is building. The guitars are let loose while the rhythm section and the keyboard solidify a darker background. It takes until the fourth song, Hypnotisoitu Viharukous, for the black metal side of their sound to really shine with a bright red intensity, like a possessed diamond slicing the fabric of the universe. The evil melody produced by the keyboard is then one of the most memorable of the album as it burst into the scene and breaks with the transcendental atmosphere of earlier songs like Lahja with it’s tribal rhythm and it’s Indian sounding melody.
Despite the length of most songs, three going past the ten minute mark and one being seventeen minute long, Oranssi Pazuzu doesn’t let up the intensity wither away. The consistency of the atmosphere hold the attention of the listener for the complete duration of this journey made of seven individual compositions with each their own twist, turns and ending. The diversity displayed within each songs is a thing of beauty. Metal is rarely associated with Oriental music but Oranssi Pazuzu turn up their inner chakra to the maximum on songs such as Lahja and Värähtelijä with the same versatility as the Master Musicians of Bukkake, a band only connected to Black metal via it’s love for theatrics.
Värähtelijä is a complete success for mixing both styles of music into one coherent and fascinating whole. Hypnotic, demonic, Oranssi Pazuzu have come into their own and given birth to one of the most creative album of the beginning of the year. A landmark album that will inspire many, without the shadow of a doubt.