Oranssi Pazzuzu – Live at Roadburn 2017

3 out of 5

Label: Roadburn

Produced by: Matthijs Herder, Nick Giagkoudakis (mixed by)

I’ve established in several live album reviews that, in general, they don’t hold much appeal to me. They can be a testament to a group’s abilities to bring their sound in person – and that’s very much the case with Oranssi Pazzuzu’s Roadburn 2017 live disc – but unless there’s some significant something they do differently with the material when out of the studio, or unless the playlist re-presents tracks in an impactful fashion (something that’s easier when you’re a Slayer and have, like, multiple decades of albums from which to choose), I’d generally rather listen to an album version, and I don’t begrudge bands who sound “better” via that presentation.

And OP might fall into that category – sounding better on disc – if only because their post-rock black metal has a particular gloss that just sounds amazing when it’s produced and trimmed effectively. However, it is definitely fascinating to hear how accurately represented that is live, with the slight timing hitches and wavering melodies that can occur in that setting. Neither of those are knocks – that organicness can surely be a plus, adding flavor, and furthermore underline how solid the album tracks are. But yeah, otherwise, these tracks don’t necessarily add anything, sticking mostly to stuff from around the time of the show (the Värähtelijä album; a tour single) – excepting one track from a release back – except maybe concluding track Vasemman Käden Hierarkia, which uses the somewhat washed-out live sound to really drive home its pummeling conclusion. “Washed-out” is just a general tag, though, to indicate the flatness of live recordings; the music is crisp and loud, with a good mix and master from Matthijs Herder, Nick Giagkoudakis and James Plotkin, respectively.