Blut Aus Nord

Blut Aus Nord comes from Normandy France and have just released their fifth full length recording. Their style is now called “metaphysical extreme metal” by the band. Mort is French for dead. This disc is 47 minutes in duration with eight tracks, no titles. This is mostly instrumental, unstructured ambient noise with electronic effects over a base of many layered guitars. The emphasis is on dissonance. It is not ‘evil’ or dark or particularly haunting, but moody comes to mind as an appropriate adjective. Before I go much further, some history.

I have known about this band for a long time. I bought the first two albums as they were released and enjoyed them for what they were, nothing earth shattering. By the time 2001’s Mystical Beast of Rebellion came out I had given up on the band but I got the promo. I picked up 2003’s Work Which Transforms God on a whim. I have not really thought about the band since. My copy of Work Which Transforms God is the Appease Me version, Vindsval’s own label, and it features no album title on the cover and barely visible logo with no name or title on the tray card edges identifying the disc. Everything is written on the back. The booklet song titles are written vertically… I see on the promo sheet that Candlelight re-released this disc with new cover art. Ditto for Memoria Vestusta and Ultima Thulee, new cover art new logo. Is this a bid to make the albums more accessible? If so, Mort appears to be the backlash from Vindsval. Vague, indistinct cover art, no song titles. I can’t comment on the booklet or tray card or even the disc itself, all I got was the Candlelight cdr promo.

Apparently Godflesh, Killing Joke and Neurosis are big influences on the new style. I have managed to avoid ever hearing anything from any of those bands. I can, however, approach this disc from the classical perspective. Modernist composer Arnold Schonberg thought sound was the essence not the note. How do you create a particular sound without using any of the normal reference points of someone versed in the western music tradition? Play Mozart and everyone can listen and tell you what notes, what key, major or minor, etc. To break away from this Schonberg used sounds to create mood instead of notes to create melody and harmony. His emancipation of dissonance has inspired many artists in many genres, who have played with these ideas in different ways ever since.

Blut Aus Nord has gone from fairly melodic, atmospheric black metal with a leaning toward ambience to electronic effect laden ambient noise industrial. Along the way it seems the band has become the new Opeth, you are supposed to love it, and even if you don’t, say you do in public. Those that think abrasive industrial ambient soundscapes with little or no resemblance to notes, phrases, chord structures, keys, etc. is the essence of today’s post black metal will likely claim this as a landmark release.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
October 14th, 2006


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