If credence is given to accounts of the mystic experience, we are forced to recognise that certain mystics have succeeded in achieving a special state that goes beyond the usual feelings and perceptions of ordinary life. These men and women describe an experience of union, of Unity with life or God or the Ultimate. Visions, feelings of love and similar sensate phenomena are regarded as transitional stages on the way to a higher, transcendent state – the “cloud of darkness” – in which thoughts and images no longer exist but, instead, a new dimension is perceived. Listening to Oranssi Pazuzu‘s Värähtelijä is like that. For their fourth full length record, the Finnish psychedelic black metal band have presented us with a fully-immersive exploration of the human psyche, that forces you to open your third eye. A lot of metal music asks you to look at the world and yourself more deeply, but rarely has this examination been so intimate.
Crazy, unconventional guitars intertwine themselves with psychedelic bass lines, while a dark black metal rasp screams Finnish in a manner that seems to be going straight for the sub conscious. The odd shift into tremolo mode is often accompanied by ear-pummelling doom which quickly recedes into eerie ambient passages. And that is literally just opening track Saturaatio – it seems that Oranssi Pazuzu really are looking to push the envelope and boundaries of what music is with this release, and melt minds in the process. This is, of course, all served up in the band’s usual fashion – through an organic, coherent production that gives each instrument the right amount of space.
As with all of their albums, this isn’t for the faint of heart – it’s something you will need to sit down with and make genuine time for – it needs to be experienced, not just listened to. Värähtelijä doesn’t make use of the subject matter of the human meditative state and higher awareness, instead it will make you explore your own. Every song is exploratory not just musically but personally too and will hold a mirror up to every subconscious thought and feeling you’ve ever harboured, making you aware of sides of yourself you were never even aware existed. Heavy and experimental in every sense of the word.
Scribed by: Angela Davey