Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen review



Reviewer:
N/A

108 users:
8.28
Band: Blut Aus Nord
Album: Hallucinogen
Release date: September 2019


01. Nomos Nebuleam
02. Nebeleste
03. Sybelius
04. Anthosmos
05. Mahagma
06. Haallucinählia
07. Cosma Procyiris


Advance statements for Hallucinogen regarding its sound appeared to imply that it would be the start of a considerably new direction for Blut Aus Nord. And so it is.

Coming off nearly a decade of cold, plodding, industrial-infused black metal, Hallucinogen comes as something of a major transition point for Blut Aus Nord, the start of a new chapter in their discography so to speak. The music here is, at least by the band's own standards, a lot more straightforward and less abstract, being more in line with the conventions of contemporary melodic and atmospheric black metal than with some of the more experimental avenues the band have explored previously. Rather than the grinding, mechanical, and apocalyptic aesthetic listeners may have come to expect from the band after their last 3 or 4 releases, Hallucinogen is by contrast quite bright and uplifting, featuring energetic midtempo riffing embellished by choirs and an overall unifying sense of harmony. Opener "Nomos Nebuleam" is as good an example of this new sound as any: a lot warmer and more airy, but still featuring some of Vindsval's distinct riffing patterns.

Although Hallucinogen is, perhaps regrettably, less out there and psychedelic than its cover art and title may imply, it still manages to be a pretty emotive and dynamic listen that shuffles well between two main styles. In addition to the riff driven, midtempo approach that forms the bulk of the album, occasional moments of more relaxed atmosphere pop up that have more in common with elements of post rock, prog, and perhaps even a bit of shoegaze. These dreamier moments are often positioned very well within the rest of the more chugging approach of the music, coming both at the beginning, middle, and end of the album's various tracks and always transitioning either to or from the heavier sound quite well (the shift into this approach on "Nebeleste" is particularly delightful).

With Hallucinogen Blut Aus Nord have definitely shaken things up with a new, rather unexpected approach. Though it may be a little more generic and less out of the box than some were anticipating, they still manage to own the atmospheric black metal style and make it their own without really mimicking any one band too blatantly. Though it may leave some things to be desired in the way of experimentation and overall weirdness, if Hallucinogen proves anything it's that Blut Aus Nord aren't too comfortable playing any one style for too long a time, and are dedicated to evolving their approach, a trait surely worthy of admiration.

Snack time.


 



Written on 11.10.2019 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 141 users
12.10.2019 - 00:53
Batlord666
I've only heard the first two tracks as I'm waiting to get the CD, but I felt it sounded a lot like their Memoria Vetusta albums and not as radical a departure as they said it would be. Still really enjoyed those two songs and I'm really eager to get the whole thing!
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12.10.2019 - 01:51
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Batlord666 on 12.10.2019 at 00:53

I've only heard the first two tracks as I'm waiting to get the CD, but I felt it sounded a lot like their Memoria Vetusta albums and not as radical a departure as they said it would be. Still really enjoyed those two songs and I'm really eager to get the whole thing!

I don't think it's that similar to the MV albums honestly. Yes it's definitely melodic black metal as those albums are, but of a bit of a different variety. The Memoria Vetusta albums are very true to the melodic black metal of the 90s, this album takes more of an influence from prog and the contemporary blackgaze movement I think.

I think you'll enjoy the rest of it if you already really liked the first two tracks, the rest of the album isn't that different from them.
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Life was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed.
Nothing changed, it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.
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12.10.2019 - 08:05
Lord Slothrop
It's been growing on me with each listen. Initially I was a bit disappointed with the- as you wrote- more generic sound, but that's mainly because BAN is one of my favorite bands and it's easy to overhype oneself for a new release. Still, with repeated listens I'm finding myself enjoying it more and more, finding 'hidden' melodies that I didn't catch before, intriguing sections, etc. Overall a worthy addition to a stellar catalogue.
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12.10.2019 - 09:48
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
I haven't heard this yet but it's a credit to the review that I feel like I know what it's going to sound like. Well done, Che.
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I have no memory of this place.
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12.10.2019 - 16:46
Batlord666
Written by Apothecary on 12.10.2019 at 01:51

I don't think it's that similar to the MV albums honestly. Yes it's definitely melodic black metal as those albums are, but of a bit of a different variety. The Memoria Vetusta albums are very true to the melodic black metal of the 90s, this album takes more of an influence from prog and the contemporary blackgaze movement I think.

I think you'll enjoy the rest of it if you already really liked the first two tracks, the rest of the album isn't that different from them.


Interesting, thanks for the reply!
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12.10.2019 - 18:30
Gesualdo
Great review. Thanks for your work, Apothecary.

I was waiting for a more psichedelic and more abstract side rather than this straightforward stile, but it´s always a pleasure to hear new Vindsval´s riffs and ideas.

The thing I like least is the lack of variety between the tracks.
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12.10.2019 - 18:42
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Gesualdo on 12.10.2019 at 18:30

The thing I like least is the lack of variety between the tracks.

That's a complaint of mine as well, even if a pretty minor one... the tracks do indeed all kind of sound alike. But on the flip side, that means the album's a pretty consistent and uniform listen, which I guess is a good thing from a certain perspective
----
Life was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed.
Nothing changed, it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.
Loading...
14.10.2019 - 23:54
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Apothecary on 12.10.2019 at 01:51

I don't think it's that similar to the MV albums honestly. Yes it's definitely melodic black metal as those albums are, but of a bit of a different variety. The Memoria Vetusta albums are very true to the melodic black metal of the 90s, this album takes more of an influence from prog and the contemporary blackgaze movement I think.

Exactly.

I like this album quite a bit, repeated listens reveal that it is not as 'simple atmo/meloblack' as many make it out to be.
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29.10.2019 - 12:54
Angel N.
Evil Butterfly
Well said Che, I expected more atmospheric and space sounds by the cover arts and title they used. It is definitely uplifting. I agree also it is one of the least out of box BAN
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The Fangirl.
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29.10.2019 - 20:06
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Angel N. on 29.10.2019 at 12:54

I agree also it is one of the least out of box BAN

Yep, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I appreciate them trying something new other than the cold, industrial sound that's been perhaps explored to its fullest capacity. This album's grown on me a lot and I've revisited it quite a bit over the past few weeks, which is definitely a good sign.
----
Life was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed.
Nothing changed, it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.
Loading...

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