Blut Aus Nord

The Mystical Beast of Rebellion

Written by: EW on 08/05/2011 23:06:18

With the review of their new LP to follow it is to French black metallers Blut Aus Nord's second album, "The Mystical Beast of Rebellion", originally released in 2001, where we shall now start. Not just having been reissued in it's original format here, BAN have also taken the effort to record three new tracks totalling an extra 37 minutes to transform what many consider to be a defining work of their catalogue into a new double album.

BAN are not new to critical praise, with subsequent albums garnering the sort of mass appreciation that belies the unapproachable, belligerent nature of their music. Relentlessly bleak, spacey atmospheric black metal built around at times long, repetitive song structures is bound to divide the listening public between those who 'get' it and the rest, who are repulsed by the dissonance of the band's works and minimalistic nature of all their work. Getting past those obvious barriers to appreciation, however, and there is an underlying attractiveness to Blut Aus Nord's work: it's not pretty, happy or uplifting but there is a strange ethereal quantity to it that demands attention. The 40 minutes of the original album here are drowning in atmospherics with much of them at the forefront of the sound, or to be found only marginally behind the narcissistic Burzum-ic riffing in the likes of "The Fall: Chapter I" and "…IV". In the moments of furious blasting BAN can tend to get a little carried over with the repetition factor through the lack of guitar virtuosities, some of which are corrected in "The Fall: Chapter 7.7" (the first of the new tracks). When relying mostly on atmospherics ("…III", "…V") a BAN atmospheric is best described as the soundtrack to endless space travel, interrupted by the turbulence caused from discordant and chaotic riffing.

Where the original album of "The Mystical Beast…" lacks is the flourishes seen "Chapter 7.7" and the greater speed variation of "Chapter 7.777", where the band's heavily distorted guitar tones and reverberating drumming are slowed to a crawl for a highly-charged 19 minute conclusion to the double album. Commentating on the suitability of 19 minutes of such music is entirely dependent on personal opinion, though I'm pretty sure the open majority would be giving up long before the track's eventual conclusion.

The appealing aspects to the album are apparent to someone more at home with 2009's "Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars" but I can't help but feeling more interesting developments could be apparent to give the album the gift of greater playback value. As will be seen, oppressively cult releases are everything BAN have even stood for…


Download: The Fall: Chapter IV
For The Fans Of: Deathspell Omega, Emperor, Godflesh
Listen: Myspace

Original release date: 2001
Rerelease date: 17.01.2011
Debemur Morti Productions

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