Blut Aus Nord

777 Sect(s)

Written by: EW on 08/05/2011 23:06:40

No Blut Aus Nord release ever fails to offer the listener a harrowing and uncomfortable journey to it's conclusion, a trait which new album, "777 - Sect(s)", the band's 8th full-length, has embraced and attempted to take to it's logical conclusion. 2009's "Memoria Vetusta II" was a grand, ethereal and ultimately extremely rewarding release that really exhibited the band's potential to this writer, but to expect a logical successor to it would be to mis-understand the entire being of BAN where normal conventions are jettisoned in favour of an off-kilter approach towards pretty much everything.

The misanthropic French trio take the now common mysterious approach to the black metal craft and fire it skywards, in the process ignoring all logic on riff and song structures. "Epitome I" (all seven tracks are named in such a style) has the sonic aura of distinguished minds and candescent visions behind it as discordant sounding riffs cascade into one other as if their more reasoned approach is being distorted by the onset of the cosmic black hole that is the tracks closing atmospheric, synthesised section. "Epitome II" is a slower counterweight to the bludgeoning tracks it is sandwiched by but the riff at it's spine is no less arousing as it sets a tone of vastness and majesty which is apparent throughout the whole 45 minutes.

More so than almost all BM bands the use of synthesised ambience feels necessary to the work BAN undertake. It's spacey, cold air bleeds into the heavily distorted and suffering vocals of Vindsval to create the feelings of nightmarish anxiety to be found most clearly in "Epitome IV". Throughout, the vocals of Vindsval are used sparingly as his philosophical outpourings are greatly outnumbered by the procession of intertwined riffs and ambient exchanges, some of which are now only beginning unravel themselves to me after a number of recent listens.

To be sure whether "777 - Sect(s)" tops Blut Aus Nord's own high standards of previous efforts is perilously difficult to say so early into what must by all necessities be a long journey, but it is most clear how well it does succeed by the band's own standards. Rather than feel constricted by their own styles or devoid of ideas as a band is free to do so after this many releases, BAN instead continue to peddle their own niche of black metal's analysed panopticon here and for as long as the journey remains this perilous, long may it continue.

8

Download: Epitome I, Epitome IV, Epitome VI
For The Fans Of: Deathspell Omega, Emperor, Godflesh
Listen: Myspace

Rerelease date: 18.04.2011
Debemur Morti Productions

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