My love for French black metal is probably more boundless than it should be, but can I help it that so much of it is just so wonderful? I've been on a week long Blut Aus Nord bender, so I figured I should probably review one of their albums. Plus, I've been criminally neglecting this blog.
Though everyone talks about how great 2003's "The Work Which Transforms God" is (and it is), I really love "Odinist - The Destruction of Reason by Illumination," which is their sixth full length album. Based in Mondeville, France, Blut Aus Nord is the industrial/avant garde black metal project of Vindsval. Around since 1994, it was a solo project for most of the early years, though lately he's assembled a permanent band rather than just using studio musicians. Released on Candlelight, the band's label for the last couple of years, I believe this album is only available on CD, which makes sense, but is a little disappointing.
Fans of Deathspell Omega should enjoy this, though it is slower tempoed and more electronic with a dose of Godflesh for good measure. I feel like calling it avant garde black metal is going to give people the wrong idea - it isn't really shoegaze like Alcest. It's colder, bleaker, and a lot more technical than any of those bands. Maybe even fans of Portal would enjoy it - there is a definite swirling, chaotic element to the music (especially the guitars) that Blut Aus Nord shares with Portal, though they take a black metal approach rather than coming anywhere near death metal. "Odinist" also has more traditional black elements than some of the albums before this, which is why I think it put some previous Blut Aus Nord fans on the fence. It's definitely an acquired taste and if you've never heard them before, you should probably start with "The Work Which Transforms God."
2. An Element of Flesh
3. The Sounds of the Universe
5. A Few Shreds of Thoughts
7. Mystic Absolu
8. The Cycle of the Cycles