Blut Aus Nord // 777 : The Desanctification
Rating: 4.0/5.0 —Mind-bending peculiarity from the French disciples of the dark.
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Release Dates: EU: 2011.11.11 | US: 11.15.2011
Oh I love French black metal. They do it differently there. You won’t get the same kind of innovation or mystery from any other country in the world these days. Forget all the nonsense that comes with the Norwegian scene. This is purely about the music, the essence of black metal, what it should be. Of course just like any other scene in the world, not everyone is doing the same thing. Here we have the likes of Antaeus, Aosoth or Haemoth providing the raw and ferocious side, while bands like Epheles and Anorexia Nervosa deliver grandiose soundscapes of symphonic majesty. Then of course there’s the avant-garde, enigmatic workings of bands like Deathspell Omega, Glorior Belli and Blut Aus Nord.
Since 1995 these very unique and discreet individuals have released albums to test the boundaries of what can be classed as black metal. From their earlier outputs Ultima Thulee and the masterful Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age to the post-black metal The Work Which Transforms God and bizarre Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars. Every single release has taken a fresh and thought-provoking leap towards evolution. Incorporating ambient and industrial elements into a very dark, all-encompassing sound. You never quite know what to expect from a Blut Aus Nord release.
In April 777 – Sect[s] came out and received a warm critical reception. It did however take a while for me personally to get into it. Most of the album was incredibly obscure and took time to grow. Even more so this time around for the second part of this ambitious trilogy. 777 – The Desanctification is a rather inexplicable album. If you don’t like Blut Aus Nord, this isn’t going to convince you. To be fair, this is a trilogy, which means if you haven’t listened to the previous record this one won’t make much sense. Musically, the flow of the songs is very illogical. It sounds almost like a continuous loop of at times rudimentary instrumentation made to confuse the listener. Upon my first listen I must admit I was disappointed. There isn’t much of what I would call˜actual black metal” on display here.
But as you dig further into the subject matter with repeated listens, you start to understand the true intent; unpredictability. As an artist there is no need to always supply the same formula-driven article for the sake of mass-consumption. There are millions of other bands doing that already. That being said, I can’t really pick out any particular track as there really aren’t any that stand out. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. On the plus side, it takes time and an indulgent ear to fully appreciate the contents. So this isn’t a cheap-thrills kinda album which gets tiresome very fast. It does grow on you and the rewards of familiarization are quite sustaining. On the negative side, if you aren’t the kind of person that has much patience for more eccentric structures, you will probably find this boring and tedious.
Honestly, I do prefer the older albums as far as listening gratification is concerned. Although I don’t want to compare them with 777 – The Desanctification due to the fact that it seems to stand on its own. Atmosphere is more pivotal than ever before and in that regard there can be no argument this work is praiseworthy. But from a purely metal standpoint, there isn’t much on offer here. Don’t expect blast beats and constant screaming. Just get out your headphones and have a careful listen in the dark (after listening to 777 – Sect[s]s of course). I await the release of 777 : Cosmosophy with great expectation.