Blut Aus Nord
The Work Which Transforms God

Would you think a band hailing from Mondeville, France would be the future of black metal as we know it? If you don’t, let me enlighten you. Formed in 1993, and originally know as Vlad until they released their debut album Ultima Thulée in 1995. That album and their second album Memoria Vetusta I – Fathers Of The Icy Age from 1996 were fairly representative of atmospheric black metal at that time, they were good, but nothing exceptionally worthy of high praise. Forward five years to 2001’s The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion: we saw Vindsval (Blut Aus Nord’s man of vision) take a bold step in the right direction. Experimentation and progression are not normally accepted in black metal. Bands that have been brave enough to try to expand the narrow parameters of black metal have usually failed miserably, with exceptions given to Ved Buens Ende, Ulver, Dødheimsgard, Aborym and a few other that are slipping my mind. Blut Aus Nord not only exceed in making progression and black metal go hand in hand, they raise the bar a few notches. Now….onto the review.Originally released in the spring of 2003 on a small French label called Appease Me (a sub-division of Adipocere Records), Blut Aus Nord caught the attention of Candlelight Records and they promptly signed them and re-released this to a wider audience. The task of describing Blut Aus Nord’s current sound is not easy. At the core of it is raw, grim black metal. Blut Aus Nord employ the use of highly dischordant guitars and the well placed use of harmonics and dynamics. When I say dischord, I mean it – guitars swell and churn giving the music an “uneasy” vibe. They have always used a drum machine, but they use it well; maintaining a “live” sound while remaining “lifeless” enough to fit the “dead” atmosphere that Blut Aus Nord projects. I could be really simple and call Blut Aus Nord “industrial” black metal, but that term is rather unflattering. The Godflesh influence is overwhelming on the slower, creepy tracks like “Metamorphosis”, “Our Blessed Frozen Cells”, “Inner Mental Cage” and the closer instrumental “Procession Of The Dead Clowns”. They even do a cover of Godflesh’s “Mighty Trust Krusher” on a tribute album. Blut Aus Nord’s songs have a progressive feeling to them without being pretentious; the songs are cavernous, and hearing them makes you feel like you’re in a huge darkened space with the air slowly escaping from the room. Their only weak link are the vocals, which are fairly typical for black metal, but yet they are not totally one-dimensional.

Blut Aus Nord are a band veiled in mystery – one man’s vision (Vindsval) shared with contributions from session members, which could lead to a instability in sound in the future, but I definitely hope not, as the future of this band is on the path to greatness.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Dan Zidar
March 23rd, 2003

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    man, what a prescient review Dan!


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