October 23, 2007 | , | 3

Blut Aus Nord, Odinist

Releasing their fifth studio album, Blut Aus Nord have the reputation for producing dark, anti-social black metal — often pushing the limits of the genre to its breaking point. Odinist: The Destruction of Reason by Illumination stays true to the band’s modus operandi, delivering a dissonant sound scape mixed with evil as hell vocals, driving drums, and caustic guitars.

The band’s sound on this latest effort teeters on the edge of a gloomy abyss — often leaving the listener confused and glancing nervously over their shoulder. Vindsval’s delivery and guitar work have a more traditional black metal sound to it than their previous album, MoRT. W.D. Feld’s drums and electronic noise add layers of doom and industrial mess to the whole album, while bassist GhOst lays down some seriously heavy tracks. All three members of the band come together in a thoroughly evil trip though desolation and hell bent chaos.

The intro is a dark bit of ambient noise to draw the listener in.

An Element of Flesh
After the minute and a half or so of the opening track fade Blut Aus Nord erupt with torturous riffing and earie guitar work. Driving double bass drumming sits in the background maniacally rocking back and forth. The guitar work is discordant and grating, creating an eerie vibe for the vocals to dwell in, slithering in and out of the music. This is some otherworldly, evil shit.

The Sounds of the Universe
The third track picks up right after “An Element of Flesh” has faded. It has some similar characteristics as the last song — namely that distorted, disharmonic guitar work. I didn’t think it was possible to get any more evil than the last song, but Blut Aus Nord have accomplished that easily with a guttural delivery akin to chewing on rancid gristle. I love the solo at the 2:10 mark. It’s completely straight from hell.

The title track starts off slower than the last two songs, with static filled riffs and a bit of added echo for effect. More insanely delivered vocals give the listener the chills. This slow moving funeral dirge of a song will take you places you don’t really want to go. I’m pretty sure that I’ll have carved the sign of the beast into my forearm after this album is complete.

A Few Shreds of Thoughts
More cacophonous guitar and keyboard work greet you as “A Few Shreds of Thoughts” starts up. If you were to listen to this album repeatedly, in the dark by yourself, you’d surely end up in a mental institution — and I do believe that’s exactly what this band was aiming for. This album is brilliant on a totally different level.

If the band removed all of the silent breaks between songs it would be honestly near impossible to determine where one song ends and the other begins. Each song carries with it elements from the previous and that patented unmelodious guitar and keyboard work that makes you feel like you’re in a the big top of some sadistic, Hellraiser-like circus.

Mystic Absolu
The band changes it up a bit with some creative riffing and thundering drums. The gristle chocking vocals and disharmony are still present, but this one has a bit of a different sound.

The Cycle of the Cycles
A much quicker paced bit of drumming pick up the pace from a slow moving death march to a rapid descent into the bowels of Hades. This is probably my favorite track on the album. It’s just that little bit extra to it that makes it stand out from the rest of the songs.

The final track is essentially a mirror of the intro.

~ ~ ~

I don’t know how Blut Aus Nord has accomplished the feat, but their mixture of disharmonic melodies and evil-as-fuck vocals have created the sensation of slowly falling into the depths of hell as your flesh is slowly stripped from sinew and bone. And yet, oddly enough, I’m enjoying the hell out of this album.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them (except for the intro and outro)

Additional Notes: