A beautiful intro ushers us into 'Bathos', the first full-length album from mysterious Markus Marjomaa, the mind behind this manic and sick project. Then 'Squaring The Circle' wraps the listener in doomy, Black Sabbath-esque as hell atmosphere, a funeral march-like song with that mesmerizing recitative with a solemn voice (a bit forced voice, maybe). A really good song, complex in its few notes. Then... well, this album as a whole is very hard to paint in a few words like I'm trying to do. 'Bathos' is less doom than its predecessor, though some strong slow guitars appear from time to time. The same way, the ambience is mainly mellow and tranquil, characteristic traits from doom metal as we know. Aarni is so weird that labels and styles aren't enough to describe in a reliable way the style of Warjomaa's project. It's not only the variation; the wide range of nuances shown every now and then surprise the listener. However, this variety is not just featured on different instruments, tempos or notes, but in the sensations this album is able to convey. 'Bathos', though not being very 'doom' in a strict sense, could somehow appeal to the fans of the genre. If we go straight to the dubs, this album has elements from doom metal, psychedelic music, gothic music -not gothic metal-, ambient, folk and even guitar-based music á la Satriani or Vai.
The most interesting thing about this album and this band is the ability to endeavor,
trying to create something fresh and intelligent. In a great extent, Aarni succeeds.
The weapons used to invent landscapes are quite a few: sweet voices, growlings,
distorted guitars, weeping strings, deep bass guitars, ethnic influences... everything's
right to achieve the result. Warjomaa forgets about restrictions or cliches, displays
his myriad of feelings and thoughts translating them to notes, and ignores the established
patterns of typical rock/metal. The sound is, however, far from being pretentious
or twisted, and many people could enjoy this. I don't know if every detail of 'Bathos'
could be snatched by the listener (especially the lyrics have some oddities which
do nothing but enrich the whole creation); nevermind, if this music can be enjoyed
by your ears. 'Bathos' could be described as "varied music rooted in doom metal",
with a message behind, worked lyrics - see for instance the ones for 'Quinotaurus',
with the eerie anagrams...-, carefully composed layout, and the most important thing,
a lot of feeling. If I had to name things I dislike from 'Bathos', I'd say the drums
in 'Quinotaurus', or the certain lack of unity in some moments, as if the concept
of the album could deflect at times, but this just happens twice or thrice throughout
hte album (the beginning of ethnic song 'Niut Net Meru', or the last track, highly
cosmic but nice...) final words: an original effort from a band that is trying to
separate from the rest, and that's always worthwhile. Future's wide as pain...