I first listened to these Finnish maniacs in a pretty unusual way, as their first album ('Valkoinen jättiläinen') was sold-out when I sent an order to Norwegian label Gravplass Propaganda, so I picked a live tape they had from them. That tape, despite being only a raw and chaotic recording of their show at North Karelian Black Winds II, helped me get an idea of how Oksennvs didn't care very much about styles and labels.
Oksennvs is one of those weird bands you find from time to time who break the usual barriers or limits established by music genres and purisms, and just give you a totally different approach to something you are used to. In this case, call it Death Metal, call it Black Metal, call it even Doom Metal. As the way these guys understand their music is definitely not easy to define according to the parameters one would usually use when reviewing a record.
Sure they play extreme and dark Metal, with both fast and slow parts. Are they old-school? Are they technical? Are they primitive? Or maybe more modern? Well, in some way they are all os these adjectives, and even some more. The point of departure is definitely some sort of obscure, twisted and even kind of demented/obscene form of Death Metal. And it's definitely influenced by some of the initiators of this sub-genre. But if you just check the first track of this tape, "Madon Sanat" and its five minutes and a half where you can find as much Death Metal rythms as Norsecore melodies mixed with a very Proggy development of the bass, then compare it to the short second blast of "Waltijan Sanat", with its slowish Tech'Death approach, just to be drowned into the dark and entrancing monotonous guitar lines of "Kaikki kalmat kadotcon", third four minute and a half delirium of 'Musta Kirja', you might end up thinking what the fuck crosses the minds of this trio when they hit their rehearsal place. And there's where they probably recorded this EP by the way, as it sounds just straight from their amplifiers into the tape, with no polished details nor overdubs.
In some way they could have similarities to such different bands as Diskord (and, therefore, obviously Auptopsy), Karnarium, Demilich, Teitanblood, Swallowed or even with those other crazy Finnish guys from Cause for Effect, because of the weirdness of their compositions, but at the same time they sound as Oksennus and no one else, especially because of how well and uniquely they transform very basic and raw ideas and resources into a twisted mass of evil invocations.
On side B of the tape we find a very nice surprise as, in addition to their three own songs, these maniacs have recorded "Warmetal", which is obviously a cover of the cult (but not as frequently remembered as Beherit, Archgoat and Impaled Nazarene) Finnish band Barathrum. And it's simply a superb reprise of that already cool song, raw and filthy as fuck, heavy and catchy as only Barathrum know, and with an amazingly powerful vocal interpretation by K.K.
If you like your Death Metal dark, ugly and crazy, make sure not to miss these Finns. They have a big potential, which I'm sure they can still explore a lot. They've actually just released a new album, so it's a great idea to jump onto it right after this EP finishes.
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.