Onségen Ensemble hail from Northern Finland and are composers of music as varied as the array of instruments the group employs to create it. They use everything from ocarina to didgeridoo, from jazzy horns to mellotron, alongside the traditional rock instruments of guitars, drums, and bass. Across their new album, called Realms, you will hear music that can be cinematic, western, eastern, post-rock, and with a dose of psychedelia tossed in for good measure.
Realms is the 4th full-length release from Onségen Ensemble, following up on the promise of their earlier work. Realms is everything we all love about this band and shows them traveling even further down the path of excellence. The cinematic feel is strong, as are the pagan folk aspects of their music, and this really adds to the majestic vibes that were already present on past albums.
If you love the sound of steel drums, then the opening of “The Sleeping Lion” will grab your attention. This track is one of the best songs on Realms; with its western cinema sounds and an almost occult vibe, it is sure to draw you into new Realms of listening pleasure.
“Abysmal Sun” was another one that I found myself gravitating towards. The intro is held out by guitar chords with some very nice vocal sounds; this lasts for about 1 minute and 45 seconds as it slowly adds more layers during that time; it also serves as the main theme of this song. The halfway point sees the band upping the intensity for the remainder of this track.
“The Ground of Being” starts off with a psychedelic feel, very mellow and very pretty as well. It also uses cinematic music writing skills, as I could easily hear the music fitting into some obscure film. The vocals are exquisite, creating an atmosphere that matches the music perfectly.
Onségen Ensemble has released the best album of their career with Realms; the music is full of incredible sounds and a songwriting style that I absolutely love. I think that this record could go a long way in securing new fans while keeping their established fan base happy at the same time. It was released on November 10th, so it’s available for you to hear in full right now, so head to wherever you listen to music and give this album the time it truly deserves. Enjoy!!!
Support Onségen Ensemble by checking out their Bandcamp or website, or find them on social media (Twitter, Facebook).
This review was written by Tom Hanno, who has been writing reviews for the last 7 years but has been sharing his love of music for the majority of his life. Originally starting out at the now defunct Chimera Magazine, he is currently contributing to Doomed and Stoned, The Sleeping Shaman, The Doom Charts, Tom’s Reviews, and The Third Eye. Read more of Tom’s reviews by checking out his Linktree.