Various Artists – Yogsothery: Chaosmogonic Rituals Of Fear   Leave a comment

When it comes to extreme strangeness in music, this 77 minute, 4 track compilation has to be one of the most bizarre I have ever come across. Titled “Yogsothery: Chaosmogonic Rituals Of Fear” it has only 4 bands but all deliver extreme pieces of diverse music, some of which might make the more tepid listener climb the walls. Voidhanger Recordings bring together three Finnish bands and one Italian band in this tribute to the works of Howard Philip Lovecraft who if it wasn’t for him, a lot of bands would be stuck for things to write about especially in the doom-metal genre. The album is beautifully packaged and presented with a 20 page booklet so you can tell some time has been spent putting this together. Musically it is mixed bag and one that has plenty of highs but also many moments that had me, wishing it was all over.

It opens with “Jääportit”, which translated means “The Frost Portals”,  they are a duo formed by Tuomas M. Mäkelä (keyboards and all music) and Mindy M. Heinonen (violin, voice) from Oulu, Finland. They play an experimental kind of atmospheric electronica and this track titled “Kuihtuman Henkivi” is 25 minutes long and getting through this one will test your patience. On the plus side, there is a lot going on this track from serene ambiance moments to passages of sheer horror. Based around the use of synthesizer, this track takes you on a cosmic journey that is relaxing and soothing one minute only to get very ugly the nice. The length of the track is the killer but a good 15 minutes of this is mesmerizing material but by the end of it, you may not be in the mood for the rest of whats in store and believe me, it just gets even weirder. “Umbra Nihil” is up next and compared with “Jääportit” seems much more restrained musically but they still have that element of cosmic strangeness about them. Their tune (?) titled “Suur-Nikkurin Virsi” is a 10 minute depressive yet hypnotic instrumental that is easy listening compared with this albums opening 25 minute piece. The main highlight of this track is the instrumental electronic freakout jam section but there is also an atmospheric, chilling quality to this track that is mesmerizing. The song is bizarre but given the overall weirdness of this 4 track collection it is the most accessible track on the album.

“Aarni” follows with “Lovecraft Knew” and some of you would already know that “Aarni” is one of the strangest bands on the planet and this track does nothing to change that status. This is a heavy, space-trip with sounds that are like something out of an old 1970’s sci-fi TV show, anybody remember those old Dr.Who episodes from the 70’s ? Heavily psychedelic with elements of jazz-fusion, this track will piss off your neighbors and family members so be warned, this is not for the traditional music fan. If the opening 25 track from “Jääportit” was too much for you, then the closing, almost 30 minute “Resurgent Atavism” from Caput LVIIIm will surely push you to the breaking point of your sanity. This is one of the most ambitious tracks I have heard all year that ranges from droning soundscapes to funeral doom that is blackened, esoteric and desolate. This is the best track on the compilation in my view and is worth the purchase price alone. While there is some unneeded padding to the track, the piece flows remarkably well despite being so long. The overwhelming darkness of the track might be too much to take at first and you may want to listen to this track on its own and save the other 3 tracks for another sitting.

This ambitious compilation has been put together very thoughtfully from the production to the packaging and the choice of bands is excellent in the way that each band seems to compliment each other. The two very long tracks that book-end the album do tend to overshadow the two shorter pieces and that is the only problem that I found with this but it is a major problem as I see it. Even now, after several spins I still find it hard to remember anything about “Umbra Nihil” and “Aarni” without going back and listening to those 2 bands on their own. The opening track from “Jääportit” despite its great moments is overly long and gets a bit tedious and I doubt if many people will sit through the piece without skipping to the next track so there is my gripes about the album. I will still give this a good rating because “Aarni” are just so good in their weirdness and the track from “Caput LVIIIm” is a monumental piece of droning doom metal dread…………………7.5 /10
Jaaportit @ Myspace
Umbra Nihil Official
Aarni Official
Capt L VIIIm Homepage

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Posted December 26, 2010 by doommantia in Aarni, Caput LVIIIm, Jääportit, Umbra Nihil

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