After making a name for himself in the scene with his previous release called Bathos, the Finnish one man psychedelic doom project (with guest musicians) by Markus Majomaa called Aarni, has a new release in the form of Tohcoth.
"Tohcoth" is just as weird, experimental and avantgarde-ish as "Bathos". The doom elements in the form of some slow and brooding soundscapes are still there, as evidenced in killer songs such as "The Hieroglyph" and "All Along the Watchtowers". Then you have all sorts of different stuff incorporated like acoustic guitar, lots of progressive elements taken straight from 70's bands, a retro groove and what not. A song like "Chapel Perilous" contains really catchy and relaxing melodies yet extends into a freaky counter melodic turn for the weird, ending with samples of a crying baby mixed in with the chaos. This is just a tiny example, but such is the case across all of the cd.
There is a lot of contrast, both between different songs and within the songs themselves. The vocals range from a dark goth like singing, at times reaching into spoken word, to harsh and then right back again. "The Battle Hymn of the Eristocracy" stems from a book called "Principia Discordia" and is downright funny, in a good way. The album contains lyrics in English, Latin, Finnish and Enochian (the language of angels). Sampo Marjomaa has contributed guest vocals and VV from Umbra Nihil played most of the drums. Now, the first thoughts that would most probably go through your mind while listening to this album will be based somewhere around "What the hell is this? Some of these songs have to have been composed while under the influence of some exclusively potent drug, what's going on?" Consistency is a bit hard to find since all of the songs do differ from each other due to the afore mentioned contrasts both inside and between them. With repeated listens the album will grow on you though and this effect that some might view as something negative will become less.
Lastly I would like to include a quote in this review, from the promo sheet, that elegantly describes the essence of weirdness found within this album: "You will probably find 'Tohcoth' more brutal than your mom, more sensitive than your dad, more wicked than your uncle, more Kabbalistic than Madonna, straighter than Manowar, more proggy than Slayer, more balanced than Jesus or Moses or Mohammed, more educated than Hitler, more scientific than Dawkins, more honest than any government and perhaps less emo than you." I couldn't have said it better myself really, this one you have to hear to be able to understand how weird it is. Very interesting album to say the least. Did I mention the artwork was completely out there as well? It's like a messed up, utterly strange drug trip, visualised and put into audio. "Tohcoth" comes recommended if you like your music weird, experimental, unpredictable and well thought out.