Finnish sludgemeisters Takezo consist of Niko Oikarinen (vocals/guitar); Tino Kraft (guitar); Jesse Antikainen (bass) and Sami Taskinen (drums) and are a band who jam a sludgy low and heavy groove that, thanks to its ever so subtle psychedelic textures and colours, manages to fall just the right side of crushing. The band have, prior to the subject of this review, released two EP's and a full length album "Reality Left Behind", all of which have been fairly well received by those with their fingers on the pulse of the underground rock scene. Takezo have just recently dropped their latest release "Waste of Consciousness", a collection of four epic sized tomes guaranteed to shake your masonry loose and destabilize your foundations.
"Waste of Consciousness" begins its journey with "Medicine" a sprawling twelve minute epic that begins with the two guitarists crunching out deep reverberating doom flavoured riffs over a backdrop of steady ponding percussion and grumbling bottom end but then is moved by the band into a sludgy proto-metallic groove over which vocals are voiced in gruff bellicose tones and swirling lysergic laced guitar textures routinely weave in and out of, a highly impressive opening number. "Quick and Painless", the albums shortest track, follows and what this song lacks in length it more than makes up for in intensity and sheer ferocity with Oikarinen adding an element of punk/hardcore aggressiveness to his vocals to give the songs overall feel one of conflict and confrontation, a feel that is perfectly matched by the in your face nature of the music surrounding those vocals. We will deal with the albums last two tracks ,"Goats" and "Innsmouth", together as they are what we can only describe two of the best blendings of doom, sludge and heavy psych Desert Psychlist has had the privilege of sitting through for what seems like eons. Here are two song that any new bands hoping to plough a furrow in the fields of heavy music should aspire to and take inspiration from. Takezo inject into these final two songs everything you could ever want from music of this nature, dank heavy riffs, off centred lysergic guitar solos', full on bear like vocals, thunderous drumming and bone-shaking bass lines, but they mix that instrumentation with a level of fearlessness that has become increasingly rare at the heavier end of the musical spectrum these days. Where some bands coming to a musical fork in the road will invariably take the safer option Takezo will, almost on every occasion, opt to take their music down the road less travelled and it is this fearlessness combined with their skills as musicians that sets Takezo apart from many of their contemporaries and makes these two songs, and "Waste of Consciousness" as a whole, such a damn good listen.
It would seem the further North you go the heavier and more twisted the music becomes, whether this is because musicians from the Nordics are drawn to darker dynamics due to the weird (to us) day and night ratios that effect those regions we cannot say but it is a fact that some of the gnarliest, dankest and downright heaviest metal music has tended to emanate from coldest reaches of the North. With "Waste of Consciousneess" Takezo do not only uphold the North's reputation for twisted heaviness they enhance it, not however by attempting to out-heavy all those around them but by adding to their heaviness an absence of expectancy whereby where you may think Takezo's music might be heading at the start of a song may well be a million miles away from where it will actually arrive at the end of that song.
Check 'em out ....
© 2023 Frazer Jones