Blut Aus Nord
Memoria Vetusta II : Dialogue With The Stars

These are the sound waves we should be blasting out into space for other cultures to hear, not Elvis and the Beatles. Other worlds might actually send emissaries instead of shunning us. Way back in 2001 Vindsval announced the title of his next Blut aus Nord album as Dialogue With The Stars. After several side trips that album is finally here. If any of this was written back then and held over until now I do not know, but it is clear that the bulk of it, if not all of it was written post Odinist. They have taken on a melodic style that harkens back to the first Memoria Vetusta but without altering the foundation of the style that is Odinist, which of course built upon the framework of previous albums. Once again careful evolution is the chosen path, always looking backward as well as forward. By incorporating more traditional melodies and harmonies they have not turned into Black Messiah, nor have they turned into a synth heavy 70’s prog band. At issue is accessibility, for new listeners they might think this overly harsh and dissonant and overly repetitive. Long time fans of the bad remember the viking themed early pieces and will recognize many motifs. Fans of the more recent droning ritualistic industrial period will recognize this is still the same band. How often can a band explore their roots without abandoning the present and do it successfully? They did it once already with Odinist.

The melodic lines people gasp about at first listen are actually quite simple structures that are often repeated and integrated into a framework of blastbeats, simple drum rolls, harsh sparingly used vocals, and a mesmerizing guitar soundscape that is the true foundation sound of Blut aus Nord. “Translucent Body of Air (Sutta Anapanasati)” carries on with just a few plucked notes over the top of a subtle soundscape that does not really stand out until the blastbeats of the next song hit you, evidence of Vindsval’s deliberate track ordering. “Antithesis of the Flesh (And Then Arises a New Essence)” is that song, harsh and bold while at the same time maintaining that otherworldly dream quality, you do not know whether to thrash or meditate to the song. “The Meditant (Dialogue with the Stars)” has great guitar leads about halfway in, just before the mellow break, which is elegantly straightforward and infinitely effective. This is a continuous listening experience. Songs flow together effectively and are definitely meant to be taken in sequence as an album, one composition, many movements, Many bands do this more symphonic approach but with Blut aus Nord, especially with this album, it would be like something vital is missing if you listened to just a track here and there.

Dialogue With The Stars is the subtitle, and as mentioned above, not a new concept for them, they have been on a cosmic bend for quite some time, whether it be “The Sounds Of The Universe” or “The Supreme Abstract.” This disc is proof that you can add in texture and incorporate a higher level of musicality and in the end be further from commercialization than when they started. Fans of traditional metal will find it daunting, yet they should still give it a try. Fans of harsh and brutal music will find a similar avenue open before them, a haze that is difficult to pierce in front of them that swirls closed quickly behind them, making connections to the solid ground of your regularly scheduled bands tenuous. The rest of us have been adrift in our own little corner of atmospheric ambient progressive black death for long enough to really appreciate this for what it is, Blut aus Nord’s best yet and easily one for the ages. “The Son of Hoarfrost” remains one of my favorite career openers of all time, Memoria Vetusta II : Dialogue With The Stars is true to those beginnings.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
February 23rd, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    based on the few tracks I’ve heard – and this review – I can’t wait to get my hands on this


  2. Commented by: axiom

    Right on, Grimulfr. This blew me away on the first listen. What a great journey their sound has taken, and to come around full-circle while including all that’s past. Ecstatic music for sure.


  3. Commented by: stiffy

    great opener, Grim


  4. Commented by: Nick

    too bad i cant take blut aus nord seriously because they are presumptuous cocks. a pity.

    good review.


  5. Commented by: Iniquity

    This album was a nice surprise! I thought that after “The Work that Transforms God,” the rest were uninteresting Until I heard this.

    Nice review, and I’ve had this in my MP3 player for about a week.


  6. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Nice guys don’t make music as transcendental as this. Presumptous cocks do. :D


  7. Commented by: gabaghoul

    wow my local record store actually had this in stock. great album, sure to be on my year-end list.


  8. Commented by: Dimaension X

    This is way better than the last two albums that were total snooze-fests. This is light-years ahead, in fact I think it’s even better than “The Work that Transforms God”.

    Excellent atmospheric black metal that transcends the genre and raises the bar for other bands.


  9. Commented by: bast

    I like it more than “The Work that Transforms God”, good review, great album.


  10. Commented by: bast

    The right title is “The Work Wich Transforms God”.


  11. Commented by: bast

    The right title is “The Work Which Transforms God”, not my first language sorry.


  12. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    this album honestly landed my jaw in my lap. I cannot believe the wild fusion of pagan melodies and their surreal twisted sound in the same songs. I have never heard anything like this.


  13. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    and I’ve been listening to black metal for a long time, too. coming up on 10 years. how does this genre keep surprising me?


  14. Commented by: Blog › Teeth of the Divine Staff Picks of 2009 › Teeth of the Divine

    […] 16. Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vestusta II […]


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