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Throwback to Roadburn Thursday 2018, when a group noone had ever heard one single note from opened the festival on the Main Stage and blew everyone away:

Waste Of Space Orchestra, a collaboration of the two Finnish black psych giants Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising, performed "Syntheosis", the first - and argueably still best - piece of commissioned music in Roadburn history. I'm talking absolutely mind-fucking I've never seen something like this before kind of shit.

After the enormous success of this show it was clear that the project couldn't be done with that performance and the ten-member Orchestra immediately began recording a studio version of this work.

Can it live up to the memory of the legendary show?

WASTE OF SPACE ORCHESTRA - Syntheosis (CD) (2019)

Yes, it can.

Maybe this album is just pure mathematics: you take the best of what both of those already amazing bands have to offer and combine it with a whole bunch of ideas which both haven't dared to try on their own before - and it all just adds up to an elemental, overwhelming work of epic and pummeling art which the metal world really hasn't seen in that particular way before.

It has all the Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu trademarks; the black metal vocals and guitars, combined with trippy psychedelic sounds over hypnotic tribal beats in odd time signatures (or signatures which appear more odd than they actually are).
And with two drummers and all the other instruments doubled the wall of noise built by these bricks is even more impregnable than ever before.

The lyrical theme of the album is nothing to dig too deep into, but it provides a reason to use three different lead singers, so that's fine. Especially the performance of Marko Neuman in "Wake Up The Possessor" is amazing, especially in the beginning, where he sounds like a male Diamanda Galas, thus reminding me of approaching Dir En Grey, when they played at Wacken Open Air, and wondering whether there was a man or woman or something entirely different on stage.

Waste Of Space Orchestra live at Roadburn 2018
The other most noteworthy vocal part follows in "Infinite Gate Opening" with the chanting of Finnish lines in throat-singing style. Powerful.

Instrumentally every track on "Syntheosis" is packed with thrilling stuff. The album has epochal hymnic leads all over it, the main theme of track 3, "Seeker's reflection" and its sick, slowed down and beat-bended reprise in the closing title track probably being the stand-out.

The one-note pling guitar in "Journey To The Center Of Mass" is one of the most inspired and effective uses of syncopation I've ever heard put to record. Such a brilliant idea.

So many brilliant ideas combined to a colossal record. This whole album is just a majestic earth-shattering world more than the sum of its parts.

Postage for vinyl was too expensive for my taste (yeah, I could have waited until Roadburn with the purchase, I know), so I ordered the CD version, which also has a very nice packaging.

The digipack comes with two booklets, one with the lyrics, the other one with pictures from rehearsals, recordings and the live show plus liner notes from Mr. Roadburn Walter Hoeijmakers himself.

You have to be a little careful, when you take the booklets out, but other than that there's nothing, neither on the outside nor the inside, not to love about this masterpiece.

"Syntheosis" is without a doubt  one of my favorite albums of 2019 so far.

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