One of the best black metal bands in the world, streaming now at Noisey
Blut Aus Nord is one of the best black metal bands in existence right now, and has held that title since the French project’s earliest beginnings in 1993 (they changed their name from Vlad in ‘94, but a band of this caliber by any other name screams just as sweet). 1995’s ‘Ultima Thulée’ marked a triumphant debut, and its successor, ‘Memoria Vetusta - Fathers of the Icy Age,’ introduced listeners to an overarching concept that would follow mastermind Vindsval and his compatriots through two decades of excellence and innovation. Vindsval’s fascination with numerology and obscure cosmic themes has informed his output since those earliest days, spawning various trilogies (the 2000s saw the birth of the ‘777’ albums and ‘Liber’ EPs) and conceptual one-offs. The band’s latest album completes the trilogy began back in 1996, and is probably the best black metal release of 2014 to boot.
Each trilogy has a theme, whether it be conceptual or musical, and the Memoria Vetusta series is no exception. These particular releases hinge upon Vindsval’s understandable adoration for the Scandinavian sounds that dominated the landscape when he first started playing black metal in the early nineties, recalling shades of Emperor, early Darkthrone, and the dark pagan folk melodies of Windir. It’s a startling departure from Blut Aus Nord’s more experimental, technical offerings, and one much beloved by those who have followed the band’s evolution since the early days. The last we’d heard of this very specific and utterly grandiose take on melodic Nordic black metal was with 2009’s ‘Memoria Vetusta - Dialogue With the Stars,” which came in like a ice-cold blast of fresh mountain air on the heels of the band’s most ambitiously experimental work to date. Now, the third and final piece of the puzzle has been laid with ‘Memoria Vetusta - Saturnian Poetry,’ a majestic tour de force that will officially see the light of morning on October 10th, courtesy of Debemur Morti Productions. Listen to it in all its glory below.