Rating:
9.7
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta I - Fathers Of The Icy Age
1996


01. Slaughterday (The Heathen Blood Of Ours)
02. On The Path Of Wolf... Towards Dwarfhill
03. Sons Of Wisdom, Master Of Elements
04. The Forsaken Voices Of The Ghostwood's Shadowy Realm
05. The Territory Of Witches / Guardians Of The Dark Lake
06. Day Of Revenge (The Impure Blood Of Theirs)
07. Fathers Of The Icy Age


After a while of listening to nothing but black metal, you probably start feeling bored of the whole thing. The minimalistic, repetitive tremolo riffs, the non-stop blast-beating and the crazy guy screeching undecipherable craze. To this problem, though, there is a solution, or two to be exact. You can stop listening to black metal for a while and then come back when you need your misanthropy fueled, or you can give Blut Aus Nord's Memoria Vetusta I (Fathers Of The Icy Age) a shot. There is a big chance that it will change the way you perceive black metal.

Blut Aus Nord don't always play straightforward black metal (they like flirting with industrial stuff), but when they do, they really own. Memoria Vetusta I is a monster of a black metal album with its relentless, eerie yet beautiful riffs, which are played in a jaw-dropping, echoing tone of the highest quality. The bass is not so prominent, but it gets the job done, and the drum machine delivers some great beats. The vocals remind me of older Abbath, which is never a bad thing.

Atmospherically-speaking, this is the best black metal album you can think off. The guitar riffage is very catchy, masterfully done, innovative and totally ahead of its time. It mixes well with the other instruments on the album, and conjures an atmosphere of longing, sadness, and melancholy. Combined with those Blut Aus Nord-exclusive guitar leads, choir chants and keyboard passages, you will be amazed. Take my word, this will blow you away. Not sure about that? Listen to the riff at 4:02 from "The Forsaken Voices of the Ghostwood's Shadowy Realms" and the riff at 2:50 from "The Territory Of Witches".

Blut Aus Nord's Memoria Vetusta I is one of those albums that don't have any big flaws, and are very close of not having any minor mistakes. The production is perfect (the guitar tone is), the length is very appropriate and the songs are quite easy to tell apart. The closest thing to being a flaw on Memoria Vetusta I is actually the use of a drum machine. I think real drums would have been better. And since this is black metal then I think the bass issues can be forgiven.

Lyrically-speaking, this album is quite creative. Back in 1996, while many bands were still busy worshiping Satan, Blut Aus Nord were writing some mythological material with a deep meaning. Not a single song falls behind the others; the tracks are strong as individuals. "On The Path Of Wolf… Towards Dwarfhill" is a fine song to start with. Finally, as a summary, I have to say that you must be hanged if you are a black metal fan who hasn't listened to this magnum de opus. And I've got my eyes on the normal metalhead who has overlooked this gem, too.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Band profile: Blut Aus Nord
Album: Memoria Vetusta I - Fathers Of The Icy Age


 


written by Oaken | 12.04.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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InnerSelf - 12.04.2012 at 18:14  
Nice review
I still prefer MV II though
!J.O.O.E.! - 12.04.2012 at 18:21  
I'm afraid this album isn't ahead of its time though. It's pretty much straight up keyboard laden black metal. Nothing new, nothing original. Well done yes but I find the rating WAY too high. Probably a 7.5 from me.

Besides, I prefer BaN'a approach on their demos when they were called Vlad:

Oaken - 12.04.2012 at 18:25  
Written by InnerSelf on 12.04.2012 at 18:14

Nice review
I still prefer MV II though

Haven't listened to that one in it's entirety yet. Thanks for reading.

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 12.04.2012 at 18:21

I'm afraid this album isn't ahead of its time though. It's pretty much straight up keyboard laden black metal. Nothing new, nothing original. Well done yes but I find the rating WAY too high.

Besides, I prefer BaN'a approach on their demos when they were called Vlad:



Memoria Vetusta I to me is like The Work Which Transforms God for you.
The Turbanator - 12.04.2012 at 18:26  
Good stuff. This is possibly my favorite BM album ever.
Troy Killjoy - 12.04.2012 at 19:33  
Very well-written review. I'd score it closer to a 9.3 or so but you did an excellent job backing up your argument. The last two sentences are kind of cheesy though... especially considering you think people who haven't heard this should be hanged, meanwhile you haven't even listened to the sequel.
Daniell - 12.04.2012 at 22:07  
I like your review a lot, even though I disagree with the rating, which is immaterial, because we all have our own ratings
But!
Quote:
And since this is black metal then I think the bass issues can be forgiven.

I completely disagree with this one. I like bass in black metal.
Troy Killjoy - 12.04.2012 at 22:16  
Written by Daniell on 12.04.2012 at 22:07
I completely disagree with this one. I like bass in black metal.

I have a love/hate relationship with black metal bass. Sometimes I'm mesmerized by it, sometimes I want the band to re-record the entire album and leave it out.
Daniell - 12.04.2012 at 22:24  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 12.04.2012 at 22:16

I have a love/hate relationship with black metal bass. Sometimes I'm mesmerized by it, sometimes I want the band to re-record the entire album and leave it out.


I like the fat bass that can be heard while listening to Watain, Byfrost, or Krypteia. But I do like almost bassless Emperor too. So yes, it's a love/hate relationship for me as well.
Oaken - 13.04.2012 at 01:10  
Written by The Turbanator on 12.04.2012 at 18:26

Good stuff. This is possibly my favorite BM album ever.

It is mine too.
Thanks for reading.
Written by Troy Killjoy on 12.04.2012 at 19:33

Very well-written review. I'd score it closer to a 9.3 or so but you did an excellent job backing up your argument. The last two sentences are kind of cheesy though... especially considering you think people who haven't heard this should be hanged, meanwhile you haven't even listened to the sequel.

First of all, thanks for reading. Secondly, I'd like to say that I admire the way you always expose stupidity in others' posts and reviews

Written by Daniell on 12.04.2012 at 22:07

I like your review a lot, even though I disagree with the rating, which is immaterial, because we all have our own ratings
But!
Quote:
And since this is black metal then I think the bass issues can be forgiven.

I completely disagree with this one. I like bass in black metal.

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate this.
Written by Daniell on 12.04.2012 at 22:24

Written by Troy Killjoy on 12.04.2012 at 22:16

I have a love/hate relationship with black metal bass. Sometimes I'm mesmerized by it, sometimes I want the band to re-record the entire album and leave it out.


I like the fat bass that can be heard while listening to Watain, Byfrost, or Krypteia. But I do like almost bassless Emperor too. So yes, it's a love/hate relationship for me as well.

Bassless black metal is fine?? I think that I can have a lo-fi EP released by the end of summer (If I find an alternative for those crappy guitar pro drums... )
Troy Killjoy - 13.04.2012 at 01:31  
Written by Oaken on 13.04.2012 at 01:10
First of all, thanks for reading. Secondly, I'd like to say that I admire the way you always expose stupidity in others' posts and reviews...
...
Bassless black metal is fine??

It was actually my pleasure to read. I thought it was going to be hardcore fanboyism from the get-go as a result of the score but you did a great job in terms of objectivity. Also, that exposing bit is a bit of a special online talent. Totally useless in real life.

As for black metal without bass... it's definitely fine. A large quantity of the black metal I've been listening to recently has been bass-free.
Oaken - 13.04.2012 at 01:44  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 13.04.2012 at 01:31

Written by Oaken on 13.04.2012 at 01:10
First of all, thanks for reading. Secondly, I'd like to say that I admire the way you always expose stupidity in others' posts and reviews...
...
Bassless black metal is fine??

It was actually my pleasure to read. I thought it was going to be hardcore fanboyism from the get-go as a result of the score but you did a great job in terms of objectivity. Also, that exposing bit is a bit of a special online talent. Totally useless in real life.

As for black metal without bass... it's definitely fine. A large quantity of the black metal I've been listening to recently has been bass-free.

Well, thanks a lot. I'm very glad with the positive feedback, and my ability to contribute to the site. At least I feel useful, and this makes up for the stupidity I've filled the site with last summer. I've also reviewed Ygg recently, and I think they'll be proofread soon.
And as for the exposing bit: it's very witty and Socratic at moments.
And, by the end of summer, if the situation improves here, I'll try to have a 20-25 bassless black metal EP under the name Oaken Bough.
Mr. Doctor - 04.07.2012 at 12:08  
Written by Oaken on 12.04.2012 at 18:25

Memoria Vetusta I to me is like The Work Which Transforms God for you.


The difference being that one is original the other isn't. This isn't up for debate tbh since there's nothing new about this album when it was released, many others did it maybe not in the same quality but that doesn't affect the fact that there's nothing new going on. It was damn good BM indeed, don't think I say this album is bad... but original? You have to be hella new to BM to think that this is original, specially for 1996. Everything from the other ratings and the review itself it's fine... it's just that 9 for originality that makes me laugh a little bit since you don't back up that idea that this album is somehow ahead of its time.
7 on originality at best.
MetalButt - 28.02.2014 at 11:34  
Quote:
The difference being that one is original the other isn't. This isn't up for debate tbh since there's nothing new about this album when it was released, many others did it maybe not in the same quality but that doesn't affect the fact that there's nothing new going on. It was damn good BM indeed, don't think I say this album is bad... but original? You have to be hella new to BM to think that this is original, specially for 1996. Everything from the other ratings and the review itself it's fine... it's just that 9 for originality that makes me laugh a little bit since you don't back up that idea that this album is somehow ahead of its time.
7 on originality at best.

can you tell some similar albums because i just love this album and the songwriting is one of the best ive ever found..for me it was pretty original.but if you have some similar albums in mind please tell observing you must be an elite in black metal to make the originality quote..

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