Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Alphabetical Discovery - Week B, Day Five: Blut Aus Nord

Blut aus Nord - Photo

Secretive and cryptic, hooded figures, the blood from the north, Blut Aus Nord play a swirling combination of unorthodox styles with a black-metal sound at its core. Lyrically merging mysticism, philosophy, and individualism within a diverse series of interconnected albums - for example, the Memoria Vetusta trilogy and the 777 trilogy - Blut Aus Nord take a complex and, I suppose, sophisticated approach to their craft.

Their mystique does not cheapen their appeal at all, in fact their aversion to rock-star posturing intensifies their already vastly creative music. Their sound is diverse, never stagnant; their debut album, Ultima Thulée, is a cold and ethereal, a raw-black metal duels with sections of pure ambient sound. To think that this album was executed by a 15 year old Vindsval in 1995 is astonishing.

They are a band that will engulf a listener in atmosphere, their ability to create diverse and particular music universes from album to album is unmatched. Their Memoria Vetusta trilogy is made up of sweeping and eccentric riffs that merge melody with a dissonance or disharmony. It’s a hard sound to grasp and, like fellow French black-metallers Deathspell Omega, there is much spastic freneticism and inhuman sounds, but Blut Aus Nord differ in that they mix this unorthodox, idiosyncratic approach with sections of intensely beautiful melody. These albums are at times dreamy and distant but in an instant they’re harsh and difficult.
I suppose it could be said that the Memoria Vetusta trilogy is rooted in the more traditional aspects of black-metal. Their other recordings stray and shoot off in to various experimental directions, shooting around with such ambitious speed of release that pockets may idolise certain albums that others may hate. Some love the ambient droney dissonant MoRT, some hate it; some prefer the mystic airiness of Cosmosophny, some hate it; everyone loves Memoria Vetusta! Either way, there is something for every listener. It’s fair to say that Blut Aus Nord truly embrace the musical avant-garde with their diverse and honest approach to a range of difficult styles. Blut Aus Nord are purposely difficult and their morph of styles is meant to elicit a variety of feelings and responses. We need more weirdness in music; weird is interesting and interesting does not necessarily have to equate to good.

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