Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Blut Aus Nord "Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry" (2014)

French Black Metal outfit "Blut Aus Nord" are a group I have loosely followed over the years. They have been active since 1995 where they dropped a praised debut "Ultima Thulee". Since then the group have maintained a steady output of records that have continually intrigued me with their musical approach, often straying outside my expectations. In 2011 the group dropped a trilogy of albums, titled "777" that really caught my attention. Noisy, Industrial and damn right ugly at times, these albums delivered unconventional and unnerving musical moments, that at the time hit a note with me, something their previous oddities failed to do on the same level. Excited for more I was eager to listen to this record when it arrived.

"Saturnine Poetry" is the third part of the "Memoria Vetusta" series, and marks a significant difference in songwriting and aesthetics from "777". I was immediately stunned by the rip roaring epic sound this album bursts into with "Paien". Blazing textural guitars shred out immersible progressive riffs alongside thunderous theatrical drums, alternating blasts and fills, littering these songs with depth as they guide a narrative alongside the guitars which continually meld and move through passages of massive proportions. Theres a gorgeous symphonic element lingering in the background, graciously embedding serene melodic depth to these lush guitars, their symbioses fueling the fire. The track quickly finds its way to a soaring peak thats guided by some gruff, snarly vocals which are nicely lowered and buried, a fine touch, theres a lot going on and the harsh nature of them isn't overpowering. As well as the more traditional vocals, theres are some clean folk, viking like choral chants that come in at various places, further complimenting this dramatic and theatrical musicianship. Theres also the occasional melodic guitar leads that seem to drop in and out and just the right moments, climaxing and further narrating these monolithic rip roaring tracks. The chemistry is just stunning, an exhilarating and intense force meeting its match with gracious and measured melodics to create one of the finest Black Metal records I can remember in recent years.

Saturnine Poetry plays through its vibrant chemistry by delivering seven inspired tracks that flow like water in the river. These tracks begin, and end, but feel like one entity as the songs share a pallet, and focused direction in terms of songwriting. Each track twists and turns through its relenting aggression and melodic climaxes that from start to end just don't tire. It captured the essence of what I love most about Black Metal, its a place. A cold, natureus freedom that exists deep in the mind, inspired by a lost reality. From start to end you can tune in and fade away. A stunning listening experience.

Favorite Tracks: Paien, Metaphor Of The Moon, Clarissima Mundi Lumina
Rating: 7/10