Album Review: Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin Kynsi

Finnish alchemists Oranssi Pazuzu continue to explore black metal's outer limits with Mestarin Kynsi

Album Review: Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin Kynsi
Olly Thomas

How best to recapture the sinister thrills of black metal’s glory days? By listening to the umpteenth band retracing Mayhem’s blueprints? Or by throwing yourself into an unnameable abyss rendered jagged and unpredictable by head-wrecking experimentalism? The latter left-hand path is the way of Finnish psychonauts Oranssi Pazuzu.

The transcendental minimalism of latter-day Swans is one of the few specific touchstones here, while a sense of cosmic dread is also expressed through space-rock, blackened prog, techno and even, on Tyhjyyden Sakramentti, something approaching jazz.

The rasping vocals of frontman Jun-His feel more prevalent this time round, locking in a malevolent metal edge even as the electronic textures of Kuulen Ääniä Maan Alta explore industrial borderlands. This blown-out, bad-trip soundscape is a sensory assault that will alter your perception of what black metal can do entirely.

Verdict: 4/5

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