Rating:
8.5
Blut Aus Nord - What Once Was... Liber I [EP]
10 June 2010


01. Liber 1


There are few people who are more impressed by Blut Aus Nord than myself. Even though I still maintain they're at their creative best when pushing the iconoclastic agenda (MoRT, TWWTG) I can still look on with a quiet appreciation of their more conventional works; the progressive melody of MV:II is not something I listen to very often but you'd have to be a fool not to recognise its quality and workmanship, as well as the virtual fan-service it turned out to be. Considering the vast spectrum of their discography the vinyl-only release that is What Once Was... Liber I broadly falls somewhere in the middle of the conventional and experimental.

Right then, what does it sound like? Well, the first basic and formal comparison I can think of would be with Odinist - but don't let that put you off (I know many found Odinist to be boring even though I feel it's a bit underrated). Though tonally similar, instead of Odinist's clean sound, frequent harmony and occasionally slowing pace imagine, if you will, a muddier, slightly raw production stopping just outside the boundaries of "lo-fi" with a decidedly death metal relentlessness and fortitude. While comparisons to early black metal would be deemed appropriate by some, the riff structuring, which are standard Vindsval (and by standard I of course mean uniquely avant-garde) preclude any real relationship to old black metal; they wind and wrap around your brain with an unpredictable belligerence. And while it all appears to be somewhat breathless there's plenty of dark melody, sinister lulls and deep, almost groove-laden guitar and thundering drums which give it the deep, dense atmosphere you've come to expect from the genre's premier envelope-pushers. This is off course vinyl-only and having only listened to the mp3-rip the sound was of course not what it should have been; volume had to be switched right up and the percussion sounded a little strange at times but it's a minor quibble that has no consequence on the final quality.

The ability to fuse primitivism and modernism and still maintain their highly distinctive signature sound is what makes this a winner. It's hard to say which region of the band's fan base (let's be honest, there are few that love all their records, a definite split in camps is something you'll always associate with Blut Aus Nord) this will appeal to. It's quite divergent from everything else they've done, even though it combines a number of elements already in existence in their back catalogue. The fans of the earlier, more typically black metal albums may approve of the fairly consistent and conventional structures (compared to MoRT anyway) but the fanatics who extol the virtues of the experimental pieces could easily find enjoyment in the relentless and primal nature on display. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that it's a very good record and you should try it out regardless of where you stand in respect to the band. </Crap ending>


Band profile: Blut Aus Nord
Album: What Once Was... Liber I


 


written by !J.O.O.E.! | 24.10.2010



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Kenos - 24.10.2010 at 19:57  
Traditional or experimental, Blut Aus Nord sound great in any way.
Mr. Doctor - 24.10.2010 at 23:35  
I really don't appreciate the "vinyl-only" and "tape-only" thing I've seen from some bands. I get it if they don't have enough money and just make a tape but if they can make cds... They should make both cds and vinyls... There should be some consideration to other tastes when it comes to formats.


Now... now.. I will stop the whining. Great review man, well written.
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.10.2010 at 12:33  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 24.10.2010 at 23:35

I really don't appreciate the "vinyl-only" and "tape-only" thing I've seen from some bands. I get it if they don't have enough money and just make a tape but if they can make cds... They should make both cds and vinyls... There should be some consideration to other tastes when it comes to formats.


Now... now.. I will stop the whining. Great review man, well written.

I agree really, if I was an avid collector I would probably like this kind of thing but I'm not and having to buy a vinyl/tape player is just a pain in the ass to someone like myself. They might release it as a CD in the future, you never know.

And cheers again
BitterCOld - 26.10.2010 at 02:35  
I will probably do as i have done in the past and despite the fact this band has never clicked with me (even if i appreciate what they are trying to do... MoRT comes to mind here)... and check it out.
!J.O.O.E.! - 26.10.2010 at 02:53  
It's quite a straight-up album by their standards, not exactly simple but there's less dicking about. So you never know. It's still pretty much a BaN record though...
Nocturno-Inculto - 19.02.2011 at 03:32  
I find this record really awesome, I really love the two sides of Blut Aus Nord, and I'm glad to know this album will be realease into a cd Format by a French label!!!
Troy Killjoy - 19.02.2011 at 05:00  
Written by Nocturno-Inculto on 19.02.2011 at 03:32

I find this record really awesome, I really love the two sides of Blut Aus Nord, and I'm glad to know this album will be realease into a cd Format by a French label!!!

Hopefully then it will get a little more exposure. People don't seem to realize this was released in 2010.

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