|Review: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With The Stars|
|Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With The Stars|
Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: February 16, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With The Stars
I really did not like this band's last album Odinist very much at all. Blut Aus Nord is a French band who seem very much into Nietzschean/Philosophic lyrical ideas and there's a lot of pretension in their songwriting. On their last album they pretty much failed to create anything interesting at all, and having not heard their most lauded albums I wondered what the heck people saw in this band. But with this disc, all sins are forgiven, as this is certainly awesome enough to justify a slump.
I was not expecting to like this, but I am really surprised by how much I do, and I keep having to spin the disc to reassure myself I am not crazy. Memoria Vetusta II has a pretentious title all right, but it also has real grandeur, sweep, and atmosphere to justify that. Blut Aus Nord are a Black Metal band, but you could never mistake them for a standard blast n' screech band, as their songwriting ambition is set much higher than that. The band builds huge, rolling songscapes with intricate harmonies and overarching tremolo riffs that ring like bells. Here and there they do speed up and blast out, but those are not the best parts of the album at all, and soon enough they get back to the epic, tolling arrangements that make this album a real pleasure to listen to. The inventiveness of the songwriting is startling, and even after several listens I still find new stuff to like. The more closely I listen to this, the more I like it. Songs like "Disciples Liberation" and "...The Meditant" consistently surprise and delight, as just when a riff starts to get tired, the band breaks out something new and carries you away again. Some surprisingly beautiful acoustic work rounds out the album and binds all the disparate pieces together, making it into a unified whole. Vocals are mixed low, and they get sparser as the album goes on, until this is almost like an instrumental album.
I had low expectations for this, but Blut Aus Nord really surprised me with an album of impressive power, style, and grace. Not to be missed by fans of epic and melodic Black Metal.
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