Aarni “Tohcoth” (2008)

Welcome to the monkey ranch, welcome to the land of hallucinations. Welcome to Finland. But this time, it is not the naïve head-trip into the caves of wonderland. It is apocalypse-driven psycho-buzz and that giant octopussy is going to eat your head.

While the musical basis remained quite the same, the ideas behind the songs have developed into a surreal concept album about the adventures of Kthulu. The songs travel through the sluggish doom-metal eposes that we learn to love and cherish in “Bathos”, with the ever-pleasuring fuzzy psychedelic parts, shifting gently, as if the doomish ground was made of butter. Above and below, behind twisted and clean vocals that delivers the breeding of Nick Cave and Jim Morrison, we can track the all-free-spirit of main madman Markus Warjomaa, which manifested in unusual ways to celebrate all the clouds in the universe and itself; with a sweet-scented cigarette hanging in the edge of the mouth and a goofy look under a hair curtain. For instance, the album contains a song named “All along the watchtowers”, which starts exactly like the original with a dirty guitar. But it continues to a whole different song, with Enochian lyrics, and black metal grunts and star-like synths and something that sound like a trumpet. As if all this meant to pull a child-like mischief and grin like the Cheshire cat during that wacky journey.

It seems that the main route, in which Mr. Warjomaa roamed since “Bathos”, enables him to explore the little games that pop here and then in the middle of the songs, like a child examines the features of a new toy, or like a scientist who tries to capture a fleeting phenomena. In the second song, “The Hieroglyph”, all of a sudden, rushing through the sludgy guitar none other than a power metal riff, cheerful as ever, leading the parade. That surprising happiness serves quite well the elusive feeling of not-so-obvious melancholy soaring over this album, because the raw sense of humor of Warjomaa is quite confusing. I mean, he sings in his deep voice a Hebrew text line from the Kabala, and his name is not even close to “Esther”. Then again, he creates a Lovecraftian world, where everything is possible, where a song can begin like the most obvious homage to King Crimson (the third episode, the instrumental with the brilliant name “Riding down the Miskatonic on a dead thing”), change into this space-rock upside-down solo, monotonic as ever and remind a bit of Kerry King in his ever high-pitched solos and turning over and over again, changing without letting us to rest upon that cosmic feeling. What about “Logos”, lyrics by Aleister Crowley and sung in the soft Boy George-ish voice of a mysterious guest named Genius Albert Frankenstein, slowly developed into a liturgical-Prog-space Kraut hymn. The second instrumental “Chapel Perilous” rotates between folk-flavored clean guitars, into a Caribbean tempo and a choir of drunken Moomins, not to mention the crying baby behind the jamming-like-Kyuss guitars. This is the pure essence of Aarni, that constant changing within this little world of theirs, between what makes one’s eyebrows roll over and what makes it linger some more on these obscure and lovely sounds. The quiet long periods of the songs offer us tiny adventures, like searching after those notable changes, and the ones that one should see with a hundred flashlights, also to wonder and wander along the enigmatic lyrics, clearly written with green eyeballs. Sure, I can describe till bleeding how every song keeps the main frame and still manages to dwell in diversity, yet I rather allow this gang to keep some of their mind-blowing surprises.

In final words, this album is a natural continuation to its former and certainly filled with the child-like enthusiasm; to giggle on the world in the veins of occult, and carved with the deepest delight of music making, like only the weirdest people on earth know how.



Release:  2008
Label:  Epidemie Records
Avantgenre:  Bizarre Bazaar
Duration:  72:59
Origin:  Finland
Official site:  http://aarni.info
Review online since:  16.08.2008 / 23:53:51


01 – Coniuratio Sadoquea
02 – The Hieroglyph
03 – Riding Down The Miskatonic On A Dead Thing
04 – Arouse Coiled Splendour
05 – Logos
06 – All Along The Watchtowers
07 – Chapel Perilous
08 – The Sound Of One I Opening
09 – The Battle Hymn Of The Eristocracy
10 – Barbelith
11 – Iku-Turso

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