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JEX THOTH
Oranssi Pazuzu

We arrived to the bar, giving the tickets to a man next to the door. On the top floor was a small bar filled with people, with two doors leading out. We made our way through the thick of humans to downstairs, a dim cellar-like room where music was booming from stereos. At the small cloak-room setup next to the bar in the cellar I had a bout of confusion as my friend told me that it was free to leave our jackets with our tickets (which I couldn't find from my pockets right there) while he was handing some money to the person at the setup. As I didn't know what to do I just gave my jacket and got a ticket for it. Later my friend told that the man said 'pay what you want' and so he gave him 10 euros, thinking he would get something back but the person just smiled a wide smile and gave my friend his ticket for his jacket. Before Oranssi Pazuzu began playing we went to sit on a table at the end of the cellar. Soon after we arrived there was sound-check before the gig. As the random riffs, drum-hits and bass notes, sometimes becoming feedback, a screeching wall of singular high-notes, filled the room one could feel the sounds in their body rather than hear them.

As the band began to play all the sounds which I heard in their own formed a wall of sound that engulfed the cellar in their grip. As the wall had formed I didn't care about what was being played, how did it sound acoustically or what was happening at the stage. I could distinguish some riffs and melodies in the music but I didn't try to make any sense of it. The only thing I noticed was how the atmosphere of music was so much more gripping at this situation than on a album where the production has always been very lacking. Sitting at the table most of what I could see about the gig was some lights in the background. I catched glimpses of characters in black moving on the stage in the middle of lights and smoke rising up on the stage. Time seemed to disappear as the music engulfed me completely into itself, transforming us into one and I am sure that both would have happened if my friend didn't ground me to the material world by checking his clock constantly and notifying me on how long it would be until Jex Thoth would start.

Even if the music was enjoyable, the constant wall of sound caused quite a listening fatique and Oranssi Pazuzu stopped just in time. When the band left the stage my friend dragged me to stand in front of the stage, a quite weird decision because 1) you could see about as much of the stage when standing as compared to the sitting we were doing (meaning you could see almost none of the band) and 2) due to the venue and loudness it made no difference where you were situated in relation to the stage. As my friend had been keeping a keen look on the clock he notified me that Pazuzu left the stage at the minute Jex Thoth was supposed to start playing. He left outside for smoke and succesfully alerted few guys to come to the basement by saying that Jex Thoth was starting to play when they actually just came for sound check. Friend himself hobbled back from outside rocking his leather jacket.

My feet started to ache and I made my way towards a wall so I could lean against it. I saw my friend returning while the band blasted more random notes. Some candles were set up on to the stage and lit. The band eventually began playing about half an hour to hour late from the schedule. When the first song began it was a complete moodlift, you could feel as the mood changed for the better. The band played their more upbeat, uptempo songs in regular intervals, lacerated by the slower, doomier material. I kept leaning against the wall for the duration of the gig, enjoying the music. The music pretty much completely took me with it, I didn't care to look at the stage almost at all, didn't care about what was happening around me. I was content to be by myself in my little own world. When I looked at the stage I saw Jex make some strange hand signs and moving stiff like a robot. She also handled some candles, carrying them around, blowing them out, smashing them together.

The gig ended. People began clapping for encore. My feet ached and felt like that I had my share of musical bliss for the night and would have been ready to leave but soon enough the band came back to the stage. I didn't even recognize the song they played as encore. I was quite fatiqued by this point but a second encore was coming. I wanted to leave and go to sleep but felt obliged to stay and listen. During the second encore I was just hoping them to stop. I looked at my friend and he looked at least as pained as I was with his leather jacket, hoodie and t-shirt. Eventually the band stopped, no more encores and we left the cellar and walked into the chilly Oulu night.

Both bands were way better live than on record. Oranssi Pazuzu's music has good ideas but it still feels uninspired. Jex Thoth was awesome live but played too long. Other than that, the night was extremely enjoyable.