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  #1  
Old 06-14-2014, 06:47 PM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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The Recorded History of: Blut Aus Nord

The Recorded History of: Blut Aus Nord




Blut Aus Nord is another one of those enigmatic, faceless, mysterious black metal “bands” hailing from Europe (those kinds of bands are everywhere these days). What separates “them” from the rest of the pack is they’ve morphed from their early days as a common black metal band (albeit, I find their earlier material much more enjoyable than Enslaved or Satyricons) into an ugly, decaying hybrid of avant-guard black metal meets industrial dark-wave. “They’ve” released some of the most disgusting, disturbing, tortured, terrifying music I’ve heard in my life. I just feel dirty listening to some of “their” albums.

If you close your eyes when you’re listening to a Blut Aus Nord album you’ll see people sitting in chairs, chained up, gagged and balled. Dirty people in dirty rooms with feces and filth smeared all over the walls. One dying light bulb hanging from the ceiling illuminating the room, which has a dark green hue to it. And no one else in the room. How did that person get there? Why is that person there? What the hell is going on? But you can’t look away. The walls will start to run, black goo, forming into some sort of tentacle creature that’s a solid, a liquid and a mist all at the same time. It’ll envelop the person and then…well, there’s just nothing pretty about that imagery or “their” music.

You may be wondering why I’m referring to Blut Aus Nords members with quotations? I’m not sure but I have a feeling that there’s only one person behind the music, a man named Vindsval. The drums are heavily programmed on all the albums, even the early ones. Someone called W.D. Feld is credited on “drums” and “keyboards” on all the albums but I have a feeling Vindsval just named his drum machine. And in all actuality, there are no members credited in any of their albums sleeves. I just got all the band member names from metal-archives.com and Wikipeida. There are no words even, save the odd phrase in French that I can’t even read, on their liner notes and I've never even seen a picture of Vindsval save one hazy image on metal-archives.

I got into Blut Aus Nord about three years ago. I was listening to a lot of Deathspell Omega around that time and I read a review for the Work Which Transforms God that said it was a more industrial version of Deathspell Omega so I figured I’d give it a go. It wasn’t quite what I expected (I don’t know what I expected) but I really liked what I heard. And that is the perfect way to classify Blut Aus Nord. They’re very similar to Deathspell Omega in mood and texture only I can tell there are really people paying Deathspell Omegas music. When I first listened to the Work Which Transforms God I was playing Final Fantasy XII (goddamn, does that game haunt me everywhere I go?) and it was around midnight, I was in that hazy place between being awake and being asleep and I was at a rather creepy part of the game. Lot’s of spectral zombies and ghosts. So the mood of that area mixed with the sound of the music was the perfect combination of terror. I was genuinely creeped out by what I was hearing. I can get creeped out by a movie or a video game but I’ve never had music do it to me. That was something special for me. But it may have been a mistake having the Work Which Transforms God as my introduction to the band. Everything else I’ve heard by them doesn’t quite measure up.
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10/24 - Pallbearer
11/01 - Suffocation
11/30 - Devin Townsend
12/06 - Distant Worlds: the Music of Final Fantasy

Last edited by adamclark52; 06-17-2014 at 11:41 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2014, 06:53 PM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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(original cover) (2005 rerelease cover)

Ultima Thulée
Released on January 15th, 1995 (rereleased in 2005 by Candlelight Records)
Label: Impure Creations Records

Line-Up:
Vindsval – Guitars, Vocals
W.D. Feld – Drums, Keyboards
Ogat - Bass

1. The Son of Hoarfrost
2. The Plain of Ida
3. From Hildskjalf
4. My Prayer Beyond Ginnungagap
5. Till’ I Perceive Bifrost
6. On the Way to Vigrid
7. Rigsthula
8. The Last Journey of Ringhorn

I have a hard time with debut albums. I usually get into bands later in their careers then work reverse through their discographies. It’s not uncommon for me to work my way back to debut albums and be a little disappointed. A lot of times debut albums show hints of what’s to come from a band. The ideas are there but they’re not fully fleshed out. Be it do a lack of experience, a lack of resources or (most often) a lack of money needed to fully express their ideas. That goes for so many bands in so many different genres (Slayer, Enslaved, Sleep, everything in between).

Blut Aus Nords debut does have a lot more of a lo-fi, cold feeling to it than their later albums do. And it’s more akin to “standard black metal” then their later stuff. But this album has so many awesome unexpected ideas going on that it’s a cut above so many other 1990’s black metal debuts. With so many other black metal bands you knew exactly what to expect with every song. By the end of most other albums you were bored out of your skull because it wasn’t doing anything different. This album starts with the weakest track (the Son of Hoarfrost) and I was worried at first that it was going to be another cheesy, symphonic Dimmu Borgir-ish album. But once I got to the third part of the Plain of Ida (which could’ve been a separate song) I had confidence that this was going to be an awesome album. Then I hit My Prayer Beyond Ginnungagap and I was stunned. No other band does stuff like that one their debut albums. Till’ I Perceive Bifrost had some of the most tortured vocals I’ve heard from the band, even in their later career (and that’s saying a lot). It sounded to me like they were being played backwards but whatever was going on it was really anguished sounding. Then the Last Journey of Ringhorn came in and closed everything in perfect fashion. Although I would’ve stretched the fade out of that song for another two minutes.

This album really reminded me of Sigur Ros’ debut album Von, in that it had a lot of ideas and sounds but a lot of it couldn’t be considered “songs” in the traditional sense of the word. Take the Plain of Ida. It’s really just a crusty riff with some screaming, a keyboard intro and then another crusty riff that’s totally different closing it out. The same can be said about the Last Journey of Ringhorn. Just repetitive riffs with anguished screaming. The lyrics aren't printed but for most of this album I don't think there even are any lyrics. There’s a lot of vocals on this album that literally are just screams. There are actual “black metal” parts of the album and songs (the Son of Hoarfrost, On the Way to Vigrid) and they were really good too but those moments that were outside the box took this album to a whole other level. A lot of bands strive to release an album this good during their careers. Blut Aus Nord released it as their debut.

Oh, and Vindsval was sixteen when he made this. When I was sixteen I was writing three chord songs about girls. This guy wrote My Prayer Beyond Ginnungagap.

Best Song: The Last Journey of Ringhorn
Rating: 4 out of 5

__________________
10/18 - King Diamond
10/24 - Pallbearer
11/01 - Suffocation
11/30 - Devin Townsend
12/06 - Distant Worlds: the Music of Final Fantasy

Last edited by adamclark52; 06-17-2014 at 11:35 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2014, 11:20 AM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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(original cover) (2005 rerelease cover)

Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age
Released in 1996 (rereleased in 2005 by Candlelight Records)
Label: Impure Creations Records

Line-Up:
Vindsval – Guitars, Vocals
W.D. Feld – Drums, Keyboards
Ira Aeterna - Bass

1. Slaughterday (the Heathen Blood of Ours)
2. On the Path of Wolf... Towards Dwarfhill
3. Sons of Wisdom, Master of Elements
4. The Forsaken Voices of the Ghostwood's Shadowy Realm
5. The Territory of Witches/Guardians of the Dark Lake
6. Day of Revenge (The Impure Blood of Theirs)
7. Fathers of the Icy Age

This album sounds more like a debut than Ultima Thulée. The wild ideas and atmospheric stuff that was so “out there” on Ultima Thulée is gone and now we have seven normal black metal songs. Just much better than most other black metal bands of that era. There are almost even "verses", "choruses" and "bridges" in this album. I was really surprised by how much I liked this album. I really like the cheesy synth keyboards. They sound like an old CASIO that you could find for five dollars at a flea market but they work really well against the cold black metal. And the guitar melodies are really awesome. I can’t pick out one song in particular because every song has a little something that happens that fries your nuts just a little. It’s really a guitar album. Nothing flashy or technical, just simple four note melodies that add so much to the chaos. And the guitar tone Vindsval had on this (and Ultima Thulée) was spectacular. Not your normal early 1990’s black metal buzzsaw tone. It has a wicked crunch to it. Almost like those early Sunlight Studio albums just with a bit more air to them. A bit looser. There’s a lot of chanting/droning vocals which make it sound more like a normal black metal album than anything else Blut Aus Nord’s ever done. I’d even go as far as calling this album more “Viking metal” than black metal. The overall vibe and flow of the album is fantastic. This is probably the easiest album by Blut Aus Nord for fans of standard black metal to get in to. I love what they turned into later in their career but it would’ve been cool too to see how they would’ve turned out if they’d stayed…normal.

Best Song: Fathers of the Icy Age
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

__________________
10/18 - King Diamond
10/24 - Pallbearer
11/01 - Suffocation
11/30 - Devin Townsend
12/06 - Distant Worlds: the Music of Final Fantasy

Last edited by adamclark52; 07-06-2014 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Changed rating
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2014, 12:46 PM
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A supremely awesome and underrated band.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:51 PM
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JRA JRA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamclark52 View Post
The Recorded History of: Blut Aus Nord




Blut Aus Nord is another one of those enigmatic, faceless, mysterious black metal “bands” hailing from Europe (those kinds of bands are everywhere these days). What separates “them” from the rest of the pack is they’ve morphed from their early days as a common black metal band (albeit, I find their earlier material much more enjoyable than Enslaved or Satyricons) into an ugly, decaying hybrid of avant-guard black metal meets industrial dark-wave. “They’ve” released some of the most disgusting, disturbing, tortured, terrifying music I’ve heard in my life. I just feel dirty listening to some of “their” albums.

If you close your eyes when you’re listening to a Blut Aus Nord album you’ll see people sitting in chairs, chained up, gagged and balled. Dirty people in dirty rooms with feces and filth smeared all over the walls.
Having just gotten into Ultima Thulee I must say this depiction really puzzles me. I don't get the goofy industrial Marilyn Manson vibe from that album at all.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:27 PM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRA View Post
Having just gotten into Ultima Thulee I must say this depiction really puzzles me. I don't get the goofy industrial Marilyn Manson vibe from that album at all.
Not from that album, no. But wait.
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11/30 - Devin Townsend
12/06 - Distant Worlds: the Music of Final Fantasy
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:25 AM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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The Eye – Supremacy
Released in 1997
Label: Velvet Music International

Line-Up:
Vindsval – All Instruments, Vocals, Composition, Lyrics

1. The Eternal Oath of Lie
2. The Land
3. The Call of a Thousand Souls
4. My Supremacy
5. Aidyl
6. The Purest Domination in Wisdom (the Eternal Eye)
7. Your Weakness… (Bastard Son of Fear)
8. The Eye

I never even heard of this until I was researching for the thread. It’s a “solo” album/another band of Vindsval’s which strikes me as odd because I thought he was the only member of Blut Aus Nord anyway? Maybe W.D. Feld really is a person? Whatever. I’ve never heard this but the reviews I read said it was really good and in the vein of Ultima Thulée. That’s enough for me to want to check this out some day. As far as anyone knows the Eye is still an active band. But nothing has come out under that name since this, so it’s safe to say the Eye is just Blut Aus Nord and W.D. Feld is a drum machine with a name.

Best Song: N/A
Rating: N/A
__________________
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10/24 - Pallbearer
11/01 - Suffocation
11/30 - Devin Townsend
12/06 - Distant Worlds: the Music of Final Fantasy
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:40 PM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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Children of Maani – the Veil of Osiris
Released in 1998
Label: Velvet Music International

Line-Up:
Vindsval – All instruments, Vocals

1. Tradition: the Birth
2. In the Middle of the Macrocosme – “Those Who Are Called VAO”
3. Tiphareth…and Beams of Malchuth – “After the Five Ones”
4. Tradition: My Birth – “Where is the Sky of the First?”

Another solo band of Vindsval’s which again begs the answer; “what is the difference between a solo album by Vindsval and a Blut Aus Nord album?” At least finding out about this and the Eye album answers the question, “what the hell was going on for five years between Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age and the Mystical Beast of Rebellion?” I’ve never heard this because I just found out about it. I probably should listen to it.

Best Song: N/A
Rating: N/A
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10/24 - Pallbearer
11/01 - Suffocation
11/30 - Devin Townsend
12/06 - Distant Worlds: the Music of Final Fantasy
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2014, 12:27 AM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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(original cover) (2010 rerelease cover)

The Mystical Beast of Rebellion
Released in 2001 (rereleased in 2010 by Debemur Morti Productions)
Label: Oaken Shield

Line-Up:
Vindsval – Guitars, Vocals
W.D. Feld – Drums, Keyboards
Nahaim - Bass

1. The Fall: Chapter I
2. The Fall: Chapter II
3. The Fall: Chapter III
4. The Fall: Chapter IV
5. The Fall: Chapter V
6. The Fall: Chapter VI

(2010 rerelease bonus disc)
1. The Fall: Chapter 7.7
2. The Fall: Chapter 7.77
3. The Fall: Chapter 7.777

I wasn’t sure why it took five years between Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age and this until this past week. You can call this a new beginning for Blut Aus Nord. This album marked a huge transition for Blut Aus Nord from the (somewhat) standard black metal band of the first two albums to the twisted entity they are now. I’d almost say this could be the debut album of a totally different band. You can really hear both sounds/styles. It sounds like actual people are performing the music (ala the earlier albums). But it has that cold dissonance and ambient drone of their later albums. This is the album where the larva broke out of its cocoon. But what hatched was not pretty. It’s an important work but I think it’s one of their weaker albums just because the songs all sort of flow together and have no real identity on their own. Nothing GRABS you like it did on the first two albums or the follow-up to this (which I’ll get into very soon). It’s a very aggressive, angry album only really slowing down to take a break during the Fall: Chapter V. And this is also when they decided to stop giving their songs names…which can get annoying. My main problem with this album is that it was the second Blut Aus Nord album I ever bought...after the Work Which Transforms God. That wasn't fair to this album since the Work Which Transforms God is one of my all-time favorite albums. My expectations were WAY too high. I still think it's worth listening to but they have much better albums.

The second disc that comes with the 2010 reissue is pretty cool but not really essential. The only part that really grabbed me was the last two minutes of the Fall: Chapter 7:77.

Best Song: the Fall: Chapter I
Rating: 3 out of 5

__________________
10/18 - King Diamond
10/24 - Pallbearer
11/01 - Suffocation
11/30 - Devin Townsend
12/06 - Distant Worlds: the Music of Final Fantasy

Last edited by adamclark52; 06-20-2014 at 10:14 AM.
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2014, 03:30 PM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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(original cover) (2005 rerelease cover)

The Work Which Transforms God
Released on March 17th, 2003 (rereleased in 2004 and 2005 by Candlelight Records, and in 2013 by Debemur Morti Productions)
Label: Appease Me Records

Line-Up:
Vindsval – Guitars
W.D. Feld – Drums
GhOst – Bass
Taysiah - Vocals

1. End
2. The Choir of the Dead
3. Axis
4. The Fall
5. Metamorphosis
6. The Supreme Abstract
7. Our Blessed Frozen Cells
8. Devilish Essence
9. The Howling of God
10. Inner Mental Cage
11. Density
12. Procession of the Dead Clowns
13. Mighty Throat Crusher (Godflesh cover, 2013 rerelease bonus track)

Blut Aus Nords magnum opus and album that everything they ever do will be compared to. There’s a lot to like about this album. It took the sound they were developing with the last album and added more dissonance and terror. But unlike that album (and a lot of Blut Aus Nords later albums) the songs stand out on their own. You can play me anything from MoRT or 777: Sect(s) and I may know what album it is but I’ll have no idea which song it is. But you play me Axis or Our Blessed Frozen Cells and I’ll know right away what it is.

The key to this album is it has the black metal blasting that they introduced on the Mythical Beast of Rebellion but they added these hooks that just grab you. The awesome piano and string bending in the outro to the Choir of the Dead, the fucked up harmonics at the end of Axis, the haunting guitar work in the last half of Our Blessed Frozen Cells , the pummeling drums in climax of the Howling of God or the shear terror of Procession of the Dead Clowns. All moments that happen just when you may be losing a bit of interest and just wake you right up. Even the black metal parts are so much more tortured than they were on the Mythical Beast of Rebellion.

I’ve said it so many times before; this album is a recording of absolute terror. I can’t say anything more other than it gets the highest praise as humanly possible. Seek the Work Which Transforms God out at all costs. There is nothing wrong with this album. It’s PERFECT.

Best Song: Our Blessed Frozen Cells
Rating: 777 out of 5

__________________
10/18 - King Diamond
10/24 - Pallbearer
11/01 - Suffocation
11/30 - Devin Townsend
12/06 - Distant Worlds: the Music of Final Fantasy
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