Psudoku
Planetarisk Sudoku

After four years of listening to their fantastic debut, aptly titled Space Grind, news of Psudoku’s Planetarisk Sudoku quickly made it one of my most anticipated releases of 2037 – well, that’s what it says on their bandcamp, anyway. How nice of the aliens to have released it for human consumption 22 years in advance. Described as being “recorded next year in a parallel universe where grind didn’t develop from hardcore punk and thrash metal but from 70s prog from the future, maaaaan”, Planetarisk Sudoku, along with Psudoku’s entire concept, would probably be a complete farce if the music couldn’t live up to such outlandish descriptions.

Thankfully that’s far from the case, because as “BoLTZmanN BRaiN 2099” opens the album with its deceptively subdued riff and brief piano run, you know you’re in for some crazy shit. Before long, it resumes where Space Grind left off, but not without a few new tricks up its sleeve. Inge Breistein’s saxophone starts shrieking in typical free-jazz fashion, to be joined by what I assume are synth violins, and throughout the song numerous tempo and dynamic shifts take place. It’s immediately apparent that the progressive aspects of Psudoku’s music have received a big boost. Space Grind firmly adhered to the archetypal 1- to 2-minute grindcore durations, as well as tempos that didn’t stray very far from 300 bpm, even though it was blatantly unconventional and wildly uncompromising in just about every other aspect. Planetarisk Sudoku is completely free of these earthly trappings, and the end product is simply four tracks that range from three minutes all the way to just short of fifteen, with song structures that are far more complex than ever.

Like on Space Grind, synths are featured very prominently on Planetarisk Sudoku, although the way in which they’re implemented is slightly different. While this time there isn’t a track like the cheeky “MuLTisPATIAL” (which saw the synths taking over as the main instrument), they’re more deeply integrated into the music than on Space Grind, where they were mostly confined to doing whizzy, whooshy sounds. Whether they’re complementing the quieter, schizophrenic moments of “NeURONaMO”, wailing away with generous vibrato on “cWaRP-4”, or playing both “spooky castle” melodies and triumphantly dainty “tings” of “PsUDoPX.046245”, the synths are always a joy to listen to, and never feel like an afterthought.

If there’s anything that confirms the possibility of extra-terrestrial life, it’s the drumming on this record, which is extremely demanding in both brain-bending complexity and sheer speed. The processed and echoed (but ultimately wordless) growls, a defining feature of Space Grind, are still present on this album, acting as rhythmic anchors amidst the chaos (most prominent in the first minutes of “NeURONaMO”), as are the less frequent hysterical shrieks which are probably more piss-takes than anything. Wei Li and Anders Hana supply additional vocals as well, presumably for the jaw-dropping conclusion of “PsUDoPX.046245” (I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so listen to it for yourself!). The riffing style is truly difficult to pin down, but besides the obvious Parlamentarisk Sodomi comparisons, I’d point to the general direction of Maruta’s downtuned frenzies with the occasional Obligatorisk Tortyr here and there, all with a liberal usage of start and stop – almost every single riff involves a start-stop to some extent. Fittingly, the guitar tone has a bit less low-end than in Parlamentarisk Sodomi, making it better suited to the fidgety nature of Psudoku’s riffing. The bass almost always emulates the guitar, which is probably a good thing, as any more complexity would only make the songs excessively convoluted.

While Space Grind was nothing to scoff at, Planetarisk Sudoku outdoes its predecessor in both scope and execution, making it more than worth the four year wait. Perhaps more importantly, it has reaffirmed that aliens are still without equal when it comes to grindcore. Me, well I’m just glad I didn’t have to wait for 2037 to hear it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Joseph Y
February 20th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: glimmerfunnel

    Whoa. Like John Zorn filming an orgy between Thought Industry, Zombi, and Ephel Duath!


  2. Commented by: Jay

    I gave this a check. Badass review. You definitely nailed it. This is pretty cool stuff. I also agree with Zorn, Thought Industry and Zombi! This stuff will put you on the moon.


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