Saturday, September 15, 2012
Blut Aus Nord: Cosmosophy
One of the things we have loved about these French maniacs is the fact they are so experimental which has set them apart from other black metal bands, so what are we going think now their newest album finds them experimenting beyond the realms of black metal? This is the kind of change I'm fine because it is still yielding good music, it is darker and more ominous, the sense of Moros is conveyed more in the way of a doom metal band and the elephant in the room is going to be the clean vocals ,which I feel are not taking the easy way out and trying to sound like Enslaved , OPeth or ALcest much less any other number of extreme bands who have evolved out of the guttural screams.
Let's be honest as much as I love black metal , the wretched vocals give you a limited arensal to chose from. If you want to remain a metal, something OPeth did not want to do then there is an effective way to make this transition, if you would like an example I think I can offer this album as a fine example. They continue to do the weird here of naming their songs epitomes with aromas numeral following , so I'm just going to call the songs in the number they appear rather than what epitome they are.
The album gets a strong start with some really mournful guitar playing, it takes on an almost Jesu like feel.
The second song has a weird almost industrial intro somewhere in between Laibach and Skinny Puppy if Tricky got high and stumbled into the studio and started rapping in French and then busts into this big epic Borknagar type chords which was a little awkward and not the most effective use of an epitome
The vocals on the third song remind me of Robert Smith in their inflection and maybe the songs has a heavier cure sound if you mixed disintegration with pornography era Cure, but going through the Blut Aus Nord filter. If I played this song for my guitarist whose a huge cure fan I would instantly win him over , the song doesn't just goth out it builds into a very apocalyptic climax though in more of post rock sonic sense and not crushing metal.
There is a dsbm feel hovering around the album, the keyboard melody accents this a the cure influence continues to spill over into the fourth epitome. The single note guitar melodies make the Robert Smith worship apparent to my years but their is still an intangible retention of their defining sound, despite the vocal winks. to say its going into the shoe gazer territory would be accurate if not redundant considering what sort of influence the cure had on that scene as well.
The closing epitome drones on a melody closer in tone to some of the other 777 period stuff for the first five mins when it starts to ebb into a breakdown shimmer, while I like what is going is eleven minutes of this one riff going to last very long on my iPod, I could see a piece like this going on a bdsm playlist, the way the almost industrial drum hits it sounds like it would be good music to whip some one to. In this songs finals four minutes it fades into a bubbling bass note, where a flute like whine echoes the melody. But is this a good piece of music if we are taking it in the context
of an Ummagumma like experimentation yes
So this album over all is a mixed bag the moments that are good reach into the realms of really awesome, the second epitome I had to go back and relisten to in order to appreciate what they were doing but the transition still could have been more wisely
bridged. This is a weird album even for Blut Aus Nord but with these guys it is meant in the best way possible , though I enjoy the addition of the clean vocals I think if they went anymore melodic in the future it would look the ominous feel they are best at. So this album gets and eight mainly due to the transition on the second song ruins it for
me.But they do manage to redeem that slip with pretty stunning moments.