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Review

Waste of Space Orchestra – Syntheosis Review

Band: Waste of Space Orchestra
Album: Syntheosis
Label: Svart Records
Genre: Ambient Psychedelic Post-Metal
Country: Finland
Release Date: April 5th, 2019

Waste of Space Orchestra is a collaboration project between Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising, totaling at ten total members coming together to create a truly unique and bizarre experience known as Syntheosis.  What started off as a one-off commissioned project at Roadburn Festival, this gave birth to something truly otherworldly.  To put it simply, Syntheosis is a weirdly well executed amalgam of space, black, doom, drone, prog, and psychedelic metal.  This is an album that must be listened to in full from front to back.  This is not an album composed of nine tracks, this is a story that transcends all musical expectations throughout its nine chapters. Syntheosis demands your undivided attention and absolutely nothing less.

Syntheosis tells a story of three individuals on a deep search for enlightenment and knowledge.  The Shaman, The Seeker, and The Possessor are said individuals, each represented by vocalists, Vesa Ajomo, Juho Vanhanen, and Marko Neuman respectively.  Our three main characters are sucked into a portal following a ritualistic ceremony, which opened said portal.  They are sent into oblivion, only to be in a dimension in which their brains and minds are fully malleable and plastic, all while suffering inhuman amounts of visual and auditory sensation.  Our 3 fellows will eventually reach equilibrium and their minds all form together to create one consciousness, as opposed to the three at the start.  The rest is history.

Let me repeat again, from the moment Syntheosis starts, you are made aware this is more than just an album, it is the musical equivalent of a psychedelic experience.  Such an experience that everyone must witness at least once.  From the start of the record with Void Monolith, it sounds as if you are in a horror film, unaware of the evil and omniscient presence watching your every move.  To be honest, this entire experience sounds as if you are trapped in a horror film and the only way to escape is to make it to the end.  The Shamanic Vision is a drone-y song with the dual drumming assaulting you from every direction while the vocals contribute to the truly bleak atmosphere.  Seeker’s Reflection contains entrancing and eerie synths as well as acidic and warped electronic effects that will be sure to make you feel uneasy, as most of this collective experience does.  In Journey to the Center of Mass, the bass guitar is your sole guide through this unfamiliar wasteland of sinister synths, keys, and effects.  It genuinely feels as if you are traversing through somewhere truly mysterious, haunting, and horrific with that dreaded, unescapable feeling that there are countless creatures or beings watching you as you uncomfortably make your way.  This atmosphere on this album is beyond incredible and is truly captivating, with Journey to the Center of Mass being the most bone-chilling take on this record.

Wake Up the Possessor remains the highlight of the album, with a little bit of everything in this chapter of Syntheosis.  It starts off very peaceful, yet still quite mysterious, with the Possessor progressing from smooth and beautiful vocals to animalistic screeches and wails followed by the rest of the collective band crashing on you like a tidal wave.  This chapter builds to something quite ominous, as the vocalists screech as if they are part of a wolfpack all howling at the moon.  The chanting and overall vibe of Infinite Gate Opening reminds me quite a bit of Heliung and Wardruna quite a bit.  The rest of the album contains chapters similar in style to the aforementioned tracks, and it ends with the thirteen-minute finale, Syntheosis.  Similar to Wake Up the Possessor, this track has little bits of everything found on this album in one single piece.  You get everything from the ghostly and abnormally slow bits to the fast and unrelenting passages that shake you to your core as the final chapter fades into nothingness.

Syntheosis is a true cinematic experience.  This album is not meant at all to be listened to casually or as individual tracks, the whole experience is too bizarre yet also beyond captivating to ruin in such a way.  This album is also not for the faint-hearted, as it is beyond disturbing in more ways than one.  After plenty of listens, the amount of detail during every single second still astounds me.  It is clear that this is a once in a lifetime musical experience, with the first listen being the most memorable as I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I urge everyone to check out this album and do so in such a way that you can give it your full undivided attention.  The masterminds behind Waste of Space Orchestra have created something that will stand the tests of time, as it takes the musical experience to a new and unparalleled height.  This album is the stuff of nightmares in the best of ways.

Rating:  9.5/10

Tracklist:

  1. Void Monolith
  2. The Shamanic Vision
  3. Seeker’s Reflection
  4. Journey to The Center of Mass
  5. Wake Up the Possessor
  6. Infinite Gate Opening
  7. Vacuum Head
  8. The Universal Eye
  9. Syntheosis

Click here to visit Waste of Space Orchestra’s Bandcamp

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