Where to begin this review? This is one of the stranger releases which fell on my doormat recently. Upon inspecting the uhm...unconventional cover I didn't know what to expect from the music contained within. A quick look on the back didn't help either: song titles like 'Niut Net Meru', 'Oneiroskopos', and 'Kesäyö' don't really give a clue about the genre. Finally, when I discovered they were on the Firebox label a hint of the musical direction was found, namely doom metal.
Upon playing the cd a few times I didn't hear the doom-part of their music and to this day I still don't. This doesn't mean Bathos is only happiness and tree hugging, there are some moody and doomy moments on this album but calling it doom goes too far in my opinion. What they do play is psychedelic rock/metal with many folk influences with a meditative and sometimes psychedelic undertone. The music also lends itself to be background music while exploring the booklet, discovering the hidden messages and solving the riddles contained within it.
The tracks range from somewhat grim ('Squaring The Circle') to bizarre ('Niut Net Meru') but the overall impression is that of a laid back musical journey to mythological lands.
Aarni is more than music; all tracks have their own mood and message and it's the listener's "duty" to grasp the subject and concept of the lyrics. I would especially recommend all those interested in Aarni to visit their website http://www.aarni.info because it delivers some valuable backgrounds and insights.
'Bathos' is not for everyone, if you're just looking for a quick musical fix it
will not be satisfying enough because the music comes really to life after delving
into the concepts behind the movie. If you are however interested in occultism,
paganism, magick, symbolism and mythology you will find some pleasure in Aarni.