God help me, but I always manage to stumble upon contemporary bands that fancy themselves “innovators.” They like to think they’re true cavaliers of a genre because they bypass all the rules, man, and mix in a bunch of outside genres that serve to make it a mongrel in soundscape. So too for Blut Aus Nord, the French “avant-garde” black metallers that have been at this since 1994.
On this, their 12th studio album, you will find a veritable hodgepodge of influences; industrial, death metal, even some doom metal. But what you won’t find, to my chagrin, is one fully realized concept. All month in these black metal reviews I’ve been harping on about these bands failing to deliver one set concept for an album and instead opting to mix in all these influences that have no business meeting black metal and as a result sounding like musical autism.
That complaint stands for Blut Aus Nord here as well. It’s actually more disappointing than usual because I was a big advocate of their 2011 release 777-Sect(s). I just can’t vouch for this new album at all. There comes a point where you’re not being atmospheric or creative and instead just throwing things at a wall. If you feel the need to subvert tradition in black metal, I understand that. No contemporary band is going to top what Darkthrone or Burzum were doing with the genre in the early 90’s. But you need to come at it with some unique concepts, not just making a mongrel of genres.
No songs on this release stick out. They all meld together into one jumbled mess of poorly thought out ideas and industrial noise. The black metal here isn’t competently done, and if you want industrial you can find it elsewhere done much better. There’s nothing here for anyone besides pseudo-intellectuals who dig this sort of stuff. The riffs aren’t even good; that should be the one thing you manage to nail but Blut Aus Nord can’t even do that here.
Just avoid this release. Honestly, I’d avoid most modern “atmospheric” black metal. It’s such a creatively bankrupt genre at this point but more and more of it keeps getting thrown into the ether. For what reason, I’m not sure, but it’s there and I have to subject myself to more and more of it this month for your reading pleasure. God help me.
Deus Salutis Meae gets a 2/5 from me.
Check it out on Bandcamp here if you must.