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Aarni :

The purposefully schizophrenic one-man project Aarni has released their second full-length album. His previous full-length out-mushroomes any stoner band I have ever heard (and even then I have heard Ufomammut!). That trip was one of Aarni meets psychadelia, though - as those who have heard the album can vouch for - that statement hardly describes the music well as 'Bathos' was a flourishing concoction of genres and influences. What was a psilocybin-based concoction turned into a vile nostrum as Aarni transgenderly copulated Lovecraftian horrors with the Enochian mysticism of john Dee. The offspring was called ''. The Enochian letters are to be read from right to left; when properly understood they spell "TOHCOTH" (no, Enochian has no lowercase letters). "TOHCOTH" is apparently a name that "comprehends the number of all the fayries who are divels next to the state and condition of man"; does that make it a who or a what? I wouldn't bet my sanity on either...

Sanity is indeed a central theme of the music, although not necessarily of the lyrics. The album starts out sounding like a progressive metallers rendering of a shadowbeast. From there on things rapidly go downhill. The music becomes weirder and less comprehensible as the musical descent progresses into dysrhythmia, incoherence and sheer avant-garde, reaching a peak with 'The Sound of One I Opening'. Basically '' feels like the story of a man reading The King in Yellow.

Bands like The Lap Of Thoth, Aldebaran and Thergothon have tried to portray the Lovecraftian sanity grinding through different genres (traditional doom, doom/sludge and funeral doom respectively) but the insanity has always felt coherent, or half-way if you like. This is likely due to the extremity of the listener experience which characterizes [image] and thus makes it less accessible. Also, Aarni saw the need of not just one genre but multitudes of them, twisted into deformed versions of themselves and glued together with secretions of madness: Doom/progressive, doom/psychedelic, doom/death, funeral doom and what I can but categorize as 'other', often all of them at once. But Aarni doesn't just randomly choose influences and put them together. There is a structure among the insanity although I find it hard to explain. For example, the music is still strongly riff based and often with melodies which sound perfectly normal on their own. Inside the chaos is a human mind who's trying to make sense out of it all...

For the listener to handle a journey such as this he or she would need to spin this disk many, many times. Ten is perhaps enough? If you don't think you can stomache that then you should stick to 'Bathos' as '' is tough to digest. (Actually, most reviews I've read are pure bashings.) Having said that, I still do not know which is the better of Aarni's two albums. They're about equal. Therefore I'll recommend this, the second effort, just as highly as I do recommend the debut.

By the way. I would just like to notify the reader of three curiosities on this album. First, the track 'The Battle Hymn of the Eristocracy' is a spoof on 'When the Saints Go Marching In' and would appeal to those who see the humor of the 'A Very Scary Solstice' Lovecraft Christmas Carols collection. Secondly, 'Iku-Turso' is named after a kraken like, Finnish sea-monster (i.e. one that looks like an octopus). Perhaps it is it who appears on the front of the cover? Finally, if you own the album, did you notice that if you look at the cover from the front and then tip it slightly towards the left then you'll be able to read the text "try to remember" on the bottom inlay?

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Coniuratio Sadoquae *
2. The Hieroglyph
3. Riding Down The Miskatonic On A Dead Thing
4. Arouse Spoiled Splendour
5. λογος **
6. All Along The Watchtowers
7. Chapel Perilous
8. The Sound of One I Opening
9. The Battle Hymn of the Eristocracy
10. Barbelith
11. Iku-Turso

1. Conspiracy of Tsathoggua

Transliteration [with translation in brackets]:
5. Logos [an instance of speaking and the underlying thought sequence]/[the source and fundamental order of the cosmos]

Duration : Approx. 73 minutes.

Visit the Aarni bandpage.

Reviewed on 14-10-2009 by Arnstein Petersen
No God Only Pain
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