Blut Aus Nord
The French masters of obscurity and unorthodox musical visions return with a new album which is more metal and more focused this time around than last years Mort album. Each song relies strongly on a disorienting and mind-collapsing rhythm upon which they build surging waves of filth and pitch-black darkness. An Element of Flesh and Sounds of the Universe are mirror images of each other and open the album(after a short intro) with disheartening echoes of hopelessness and are devoid of any feelings of humanity. The title track is my favorite as it has a triumphant riff that somehow reminds me of epic classical music sort of like Viking hunting horns echoing off the mountainsides. With that said though, Odinist varies very little from song to song maintaining the albums overall feeling of rhythmic washing away of life and all its encumbrances and dragging your soul away into a world without light where the walls are washed with feces and everything rots. All the songs are midtempo with stumbling drum beats and soulless vocals. The only attempt at any sort of blasting speed comes on Mystic Absolu yet this almost doesnít even feel like speed at all as the song slithers along at a creeping pace for most of its duration. The Cycle of Cycles provides a burst of energy in its opening but its most interesting aspect is the strange and almost sorrowful riffs that close out the composition. This is the one time during the album that gives evidence that humans were involved with its creation. The production is surprisingly dirty for an album that seeks to communicate deeper philosophical emotions and themes. Instead of transcending I feel as if I am cast into a subterranean maze from which there is no escape. Vindsvalís vocals are monotone and inhuman as they hiss and gurgle along like some sort of emotionless golem. Blut Aus Nord return stronger than ever with an album that combines the bizarre elements of Mort with the more metal aspects of their earlier work like The Work Which Transforms God. Not quite as mind-blowing as their countrymates Deathspell Omega yet Blut Aus Nord is not attempting to be and their result is so much more unsettling and all comfort and warmth are scraped away.