ORANSSI PAZUZU – Mestarin Kynsi

ORANSSI PAZUZU – Mestarin Kynsi

Oranssi Pazuzu is the perfect embodiment of the sub-sub-genre known as ‘psychedelic black metal’. Over the past 13 years and numerous releases, the Finnish legends have taken a cosmic journey that started with a fresh and hugely enjoyable venture into the darker realms and pushed it to extreme lengths. The music is always rooted heavily in the black metal realm, but the psychedelic elements are what makes the music so damn interesting – these are usually derived from the late 60’s/early 70’s originators, with a solid injection of Krautrock to boost the existential flavour. Some black metal purists have dismissed the band for being too "catchy" or "not dark enough", but it is this twist on the tale that has made them the monster they are today.

Their previous full-length album, "Värähtelijä", was a culmination of what they had done before that blew minds and elevated the band to a new level in the eyes of modern metal. "Mestarin Kynsi" somehow makes an even more substantial statement with further exploration into the twilight universe that they have created, and the atmosphere is beyond compare.

Split over six tracks, they use synths and keys heavily to create ambience and an unsettling epic feel to the already menacing songs. Opener "Ilmestys" builds the trance that will continue throughout the record, layer upon layer of the instruments adding more and more intensity with a groove that will stick in your head for ages. This dark yet expansive focus on twisted, technicolor nightmares floats throughout the majority of the songs, each finding their own way of creeping into the subconscious with a variety of dynamics and emotional highs and lows, and the black metal riffing and ever-so unearthly vocals keep the foot firmly on the metal pedal. Unlike generic black metal, there is relief in guitar flights of fancy and bright light in the darkness, and that’s where Oranssi Pazuzu shines, their combined skills making music that really has no boundaries. Only with the chaotic final song, "Taivaan Portti", is the journey brought to a grotesque end and we see that the band truly does understand the finesse and beauty in black metal.

"Mestarin Kynsi" is the pinnacle of psychedelic black metal, and easily the finest work released by Oranssi Pazuzu thus far. Before listening to the album, I couldn’t imagine how they could possibly top what they had done before, but they clearly have so much more to say and the skills to communicate them. If this doesn’t top ‘album of the year’ lists across the board, there is no justice in the world – Oranssi Pazuzu are the real deal, and will blow you away.