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Opium Warlords - "We Meditate Under the Pussy in the Sky" (CD)

Opium Warlords - "We Meditate Under the Pussy in the Sky" CD cover image

"We Meditate Under the Pussy in the Sky" track listing:

1. Sxi-Meru (4:55)
2. Slippy (12:30)
3. Lament For The Builders Of Khara Khoto (5:58)
4. This Wind Is A Gift From A Distant Friend (7:31)
5. Satan Knew My Secret Heart (5:11)

Reviewed by on December 16, 2012

"Extreme devotion to experimental, minimalistic, and abrasive sounds is a definite requirement to get much out of this release."

Credit has to be given where it’s due: you’re guaranteed to never hear an album like this in the pop scene, as the second album from Opium Warlords contains some truly bizarre and experimental stuff that really shows how diverse and challenging metal can be. Although perhaps “challenging” is being too charitable – frankly, this album is a real mess. A mess that’s not without merit here and there, but still a mess.

“We Meditate Under the Pussy in the Sky” is a fairly minimalistic experience that occasionally becomes completely ambient. The opening track is easily the least interesting and the least musical, filled entirely with discordant sounds surrounding by a fair amount of silence. Unfortunately, it’s not creepy or atmospheric enough to really be worth listening to, and with how jarring some of the sounds are, it’s hard to imagine it would be any better while undergoing the drug trip implied by the band and album titles.

The following track “Slippy,” on the other hand, is pretty crazy, going in bursts of funeral doom or odd black metal with weird backing sounds, and then receding into the ambient stuff again. It’s definitely avant-garde, but it also has a very hard time resonating musically or emotionally. There’s simply nothing for a listener to latch onto, and it feels empty, like a shell of a song that hadn’t been fleshed out yet. “Lament For The Builders Of Khara Khoto” is the closest thing to an actual metal track to be found on the album, having some doomed-out, distorted riffs and random screams in the background. The clashing and out-of-sync chords working at cross purposes can either be considered “artistic” or “not fun to listen to,” depending on your point of view though.

“This Wind is a Gift From A Distant Friend” goes into the drone/sludge arena with amazingly long, single riffs repeating over and over, but then switches gears into something a tad more upbeat and psychedelic halfway through. Finishing off the album is “Satan Knew My Secret Heart,” which has a kind of lulling-in effect with its repetitive fuzzy chords, although the opening feedback sounds are on par with nails on a chalkboard, and will likely make you want to punch a baby.

If you want to be able to head bang to your metal, or even simply hear music with a bare semblance of structure and purpose, then this isn’t for you. Extreme devotion to experimental, minimalistic, and abrasive sounds is a definite requirement to get much out of this release.

Highs: It's interesting in a theoretical sort of way and does push boundaries.

Lows: Goes past "abrasive" and into "annoying," and there's essentially no structure to speak of.

Bottom line: Incoherent and minimalistic - you're going to have to be truly devoted to the avant-garde and the experimental to enjoy this.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)