Harrowing, sinister and damn right ugly, the flailing torment of souls arrives in audio torture form as the damned "Blut Aus Nord" arise once again from the depths with another hellish installment in their derivative hybrid of Black Metal and Industrial. Taking on a new savagery, the French outfit assault the senses with nonsensical, bizarre guitar work that sacrifices melody to madness in a highly ambitious project one can tire from in its unsettling perpetual darkness. Its a big shift in sound given the last album was the third chapter in their Memoria Vetusta series, a comparatively "brighter" sound rooted in more traditional style. Here we see the group twist the nails for another stab at satanic absurdity.
The record kicks off with a frontal aesthetic experience, squeezing its texture into dimensions that feel oddly expansive and yet narrow as a diminished guitar distortion chugs a single note groove that feels massive within its distant, meaty bass rumble. It stretches back and forth, surrounded by thin synths, the rattling clatter of devious drums, nefarious gargling screams and ritualistic chats of corrupt worship passing by, poise the atmosphere in a temperate position for which it can choose to go.
If any sense of potential groove, or traditional Metal was lurking the following "Impius" hurtles us into the cacophony of heinous demonic noise as the utter agony of guitar screeching sludge is swarmed and strangled by abhorrent voices, vile screams roaring from the abyss and the wicked screeches of odious witches. They assault with a vivid flavor fit for the worst horror scenes and beyond your imagination. Its a truly frighting sound, the tapestry of nightmares. This wretched dissonance of discord dances on the grave of melody as it takes every opportunity to punish the listener with its unrelenting apatite for blackness. Its inclining of musical coherence, twisted in deviation as the continuous displeasure becomes its focal point.
There are mid-tempo moments, the blast beats do scale back occasionally and on "Abisme" the chants of fallen priests can be heard calling from the depths of hell but in these calmer moments no sense of respite emerges. The atmosphere is anxiety riddled, poised on a bed of blades unable to sleep and that is a "disaster art" unto itself but one that I can only be appreciative of, rather than enthralled by. With musical sensibilities cast to abandon the experience only goes so far before it can feel novelty. After many listens I feel as if its made a mark as a horrid, grotesque experience I'll probably never revisit with any semblance of frequency. As art its utterly fantastic, as part of my musical map I'm not sure it can claim a place.