Debemur Morti Productions, 27.10.17 Blut Aus Nord's discography is deranged French black metal in a microcosmic nutshell. For more than 20 years, the band has represented most of the different takes on black aberrations from a country where psychiatric disorders are often central when the dark side of humanity is to be portrayed in an artistic form. The absinthe must have penetrated the French DNA thoroughly and taken permanent residence.
The band can in no way be said to have been predictable over the years, as their raging madness still enters new phases.
Your obscure friend(?) Gorger has on his unreliable site (in Norwegian) followed Blut Aus Nord since What Ones Was... Liber III, an EP that apparently did not appeal a whole lot almost exactly three years ago. After albums such as The Work Which Transforms God and 777 - Sect(s), it probably appeared as fairly disappointing. The Triunity-split from 2014 engaged me more, even if this wasn't entirely in line with former exploits either. Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry, released two years ago, saw the band move away from cosmic and industrial dimensions, and into the sphere of nature. And I enjoyed myself there. My feeling for Codex Obscura Nomina, a split with Ævangelist, was a new low, though, as synthetic industrial ambiance prevailed. Blut Aus Nord are, however, back as we “know” them. In other words, different, constantly changing, yet familiar. And a rabid psychoactive substance mixed with pieces of glass and arsenic is anew pumped through the listeners veins.
Alice Cooper once released an album called Welcome to my Nightmare. That title can also be descriptive of the work Deus Salutis Meæ. The eccentric Frenchmen this time takes a plunge into eclectic nightmares. Deus Salutis Meæ is an unreal journey in strange and highly alarming dimensions. Through terrifying dissonance and industrial undertones with modest associations to Slagmaur*, not to forget a sense of self-despising occult ceremony, a mood of abnormal negative moods are created in a haunted abandoned house, in combination with an overdosed hallucinogenic bad trip.
Deus Salutis Meæ is a claustrophobic, oppressive nightmare capable of conjuring up the most sinister and scary images. Personally, I get visions of a malnourished sect with anxiety glowing in their eyes and infected wounds on their bodies. In collective trance they perform self-destructive rites. “Discipline me, chasten me, punish me, torment me, torture me, wipe me out slowly, and then exterminate all living life.” Deus Salutis Meæ doesn't leave much room for positive vibes and cheerful thoughts.
That's not the meaning either. Black metal is supposed to portray the darkest corners of the mind. Some are irresistibly attracted to the sinister darkness. Others feel the hatred and disgust personally. For some, immersion in misery is pure catharsis. Often-times, the in general blend life seems less paltry and vile after a cleansing sonic seance in purgatory. Whatever the motive; Blut Aus Nord offers totalitarian pitch black dystopia without signs of hope nor joy. We toast in cyanide and live out our worst sides in collective, asocial and introverted unity by spinning Deus Salutis Meæ in solitude, in the dim light of a single flickering candle. Rating: 5+
Osmose Productions, 27.10.17
Of logical reasons, it's not possible to know for sure what's best of all the music you've inevitably missed out on. My gut-feeling, however, indicates that the album Thavmial is up high on the list of the best goodies I initially missed in 2014.
The blistering coal-black mood and supercooled barbed wire-furore the French crew crafted on their second full length, approximately ten years after starting their journey, is priceless in all its grim and malevolent intensity.
The most natural of questions thus arises...
Can Caïnan Dawn live up to the expectations left by the predecessor with their new opus, F.O.H.A.T?
In this French sect we find members from amongst other Barús, Maïeutiste, Himinbjorg and Allobrogia. If one should judged by the members' abode in other constellations, everything of course bode very well for quality. But as mentioned, Caïnan Dawn has long since proven to be perfectly able to deliver the goods.
The CD is being released now, while the release date for the vinyl is set to the end of November.
F.O.H.A.T is a transcendental binding entity of all the cosmic energy that occupies the universe, says the press release, and continues to describe the album as a personalized vital energy inhabiting space, and the last step in a reversed development that ends with destruction on the first album Nibiru (2011). Don't worry, I'm just as confused as you.
Given this angle, I instinctively develop a certain fear of a more ethereal, eclectic and ambient work filled with avant-garde sound collages and minimalistic black hellfire. F.O.H.A.T admittedly has some of this galactic spirituality in their new occult work, but my fear of excessive cosmic noise is nevertheless unfounded. The ambiance is present, but only contributes to increasing the album's hypnotic ability between sequences where frenetic loathing boils like coal-black tar.
The universe, portrayed by Caïnan Dawn, is not a quiet, harmonious place filled merely with a silent void. Fiery comets, radioactive particles, detonating and collapsing stars, and all-consuming forces from black holes, create destructive chaos wherever you turn. F.O.H.A.T is a symphony for the intergalactic judgement day. So to answer the question: Caïnan Dawn doesn't disappoint in any way. Although the predecessor can be considered a modern classic, I hold F.O.H.A.T on about the same level. From a purely black metallic perspective, Thavmial was a tad edgier, but the Frenchmen's new work, consisting of a bit more mesmeric melody, again deliver unmistakably scorched musical quality.
In a shower of meteorites, everything shall disappear.
In an inferno of heat, the end-time is here. Rating: 5+