Blut Aus Nord
The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion

It has been five years since Memoria Vetusta, finally we have the next piece from this long standing French act. Three albums in nine years of existence is one way to ensure cult status among the underground faithful, but five years between releases is just as likely to get you forgotten. The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion is a worthy release, keeping the Bathory, Voivod, Behrit triumvirate in focus, while taking their cinematic atmospheres to a more obscure position. The eight page booklet announces “this is the decadent work of another non-musical art.” Six blank pages later is a dedication to Vindsval and the last page, in barely visible type lists the six tracks as “The Fall” chapter I- VI.

They call this “undaground musical terrorism.” What it is is an atmospheric, dissonant epic necro-opera. All tracks fit together in a mostly cohesive whole and build from one to another, showing at least a passing familiarity with classical composition. A movie soundtrack this is not, and ambient noise is very minimal. Musically we have ultra simple hypnotic black with many layers upon layers, giving a thick, dense feel, like being lost in the dark. I really have no clue as to the hidden meaning, if in fact there is one, but I find the disc enjoyable enough to garner full listening attention each time I play it. There are many long pauses ending/beginning chapters, usually followed by abrupt continuations of the previous sound, but for some reason it is not bothersome. The occasional low rumblings during the pauses are an odd touch, but when they blast full volume back in, the intensity is heightened. The many atmospheric passages serve as interludes from the blastbeats. Chapter five even slows down into doom passages with simple slow guitars, an absence of melody and lots of background reverberations.

Many bands have albums full of songs you can not tell apart, this is a forty minute song broken into six pieces, somewhat arbitrary it seems, to make manageable pieces, because times when it seems a likely break for a track it is not and other times you don’t realize that you have moved on to the next track. Apparently their next album is to be called Dialogue With The Stars. With that title I’ll wait and see, but in the meantime, I listen to this one from time to time.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
September 30th, 2001

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