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Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu CD (album) cover

MUUKALAINEN PUHUU

Oranssi Pazuzu

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.06 | 15 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Muukalainen Puhuu' - Oranssi Pazuzu (74/100)

Oranssi Pazuzu are one of the most singular and strangest experiences I've had in black metal. Although four excellent albums have proven their craft many times over, I swear they're the sort of band that might have seemed like a pure gimmick on paper. A fusion of black metal with vintage psychedaelia has been tried before-- most notably in the form of Nachtmystium-- but no one ever attempted a blend as full-bodied and integral as this. I'm sure they'll end up having their would-be copycats at some point, but the fact remains that Oranssi Pazuzu have tread into murky waters no one else explored or even knew existed.

While the dark aural enshrinement of "true" black metal already carries a psychedelic connotation with it, merging the BM aesthetic with trippy 1960s space rock could seem like a conflict of interest. The vintage psychedelic wave was driven by carefree youth and the essential desire to connect with other beings. I shouldn't have to explain how that conflicts with black metal. In any case, it's clear where Oranssi Pazuzu draws the line on Muukalainen puhuu. Summertime free love is replaced with a nightmarishly surreal haze. They're a style-powered band above all, and a large part of what made them great from the start was their obsessive dedication to their fusion.

Oranssi Pazuzu would jump around with their sound a bit on later albums. On Muukalainen puhuu, the split between styles feels almost perfectly balanced. There are times here where it's unclear whether I'm listening to black metal with psychedelic influences or the other way around. That ability to bend genre to the point of sparking debate surprisingly isn't something most experimental metal bands have ever really proved capable of other than a superficial level. Such as it is, Oranssi Pazuzu managed to leave a pretty instantaneous impression on me when I was first introduced to them. Between the off-kilter surf rhythm, blackened rasps and 1950s sci-fi horror theremin, "Korppi" was a fucking trip the first time I heard it. It still is. From whatever depths they dredged this sound up, there's no doubt it leaves a pretty indelible impression once it sets in on your ears.

The brilliant concept is fleshed out with an authentic execution. Oranssi Pazuzu sound like they're just as drugged out and misanthropic as they should. As a pure expression of style, Muukalainen puhuu may still be the most striking thing the band has ever done. Appropriately dazzling material is featured here as well; it's doubtful whether they've written another tune as definitive as "Korppi", and some of the slower jams (see: "Kangastus 1968") hit their mark perfectly. In hindsight however, I think Oranssi Pazuzu may have gotten more caught up with their style than they were with writing really substantive material. Compared to albums they've released since, there's always been something about Muukalainen puhuu that held me back from really loving it. They never really let loose here as much as I'd like to have heard from them, and the slower jams, finely tuned as they are, are a bit sleepier than I'd have liked to hear. Nevertheless, every album they've put out since has its roots here, and each of those have made due on the lofty promises they offered up here. Even if Oranssi Pazuzu have gone to even greater heights, this would be a tough experience to ever forget.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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