Opium Warlords - We Meditate Under the Pussy in the Sky
Svart Records
Folk-influenced Drone
5 songs (35:15)
Release year: 2012
Svart Records
Reviewed by Koeppe

A one-man drone project by Sami Hynninen, better known as Albert Witchfinder of Reverend Bizarre and the vocalist of Spiritus Mortis on tunes like Man of Steel, which was basically a doom rendition of Priest’s Painkiller in many ways. Far, far away from those deep baritones of Burn in Hell!, though, Hynninen presents a very minimalistic albeit eclectic sound on this album.

I had never heard Opium Warlords prior to this album and only opted to review it based on Hynninen’s aforementioned credentials. He had released a debut album for this project three years earlier. Not knowing what that sounds like, this is a very unique album. The drone sound present on this album is reminiscent more of the bluesy twang of later Earth moreso than the buzzing of Sunn 0))), while being its own sound. Hynninen, in the second half of the album resorts to a more buzzing use of the bass, but it never creates that oppressive sound so often associated with the genre of drone.

The album begins with the track, Sxi-Meru, that relies on the sound of metallic chimes and percussions counter-posed to jarring riffs and chords. Feedback heavy it is. Slippy is the standout track on the album as it blends the brooding pace set by the rest of the album with an upbeat gypsy folk sound: an interesting synthesis of the ominous sound of an organ and the blackened bazaar sounds that Peste Noire’s Ballade cuntre dealt in. It goes from hyper rhythmic to somber notes in flashes, bouncing back and forth between the two contrasting sounds. The track may just be the most fun you can have in a twelve minute Finnish track. Lament for the Builders of Khara Khoto sounds more like a doom song that has been stretched out to such a degree that it can never quite form a totalized whole. It's slowed down to the exact pace at which falls apart from being a normal song. It builds up to a bleak finale with chants and screams filling the background, before the next track begins with the twang of heavy bass. This Wind is a Gift From a Distant Friend begins with the most classic of drone buzzing, while building up into a darker country twang that remind someone of a downtuned mimicking of recent Baroness. The album abruptly closes after Satan Knew My Secret Heart seems to conjure the melody of a Nirvana riff through dark and brooding synths.

The album is eclectic borderline schizophrenic in what it presents to the listener. It is never so frantic as a band like Unexpect, but each track on this album presents you with an entirely different sound than the previous track. It’s kinda of a mess, but an enjoyable one. It takes a while to sink your teeth into, but it does what it does well. The sad part is that I don’t know if I ever have a desire for just what it does. This is what Reverend Bizarre died for?

Killing Songs :
Koeppe quoted 55 / 100
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There are 11 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:40 am
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