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Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars CD (album) cover

MEMORIA VETUSTA II: DIALOGUE WITH THE STARS

Blut Aus Nord

 

Experimental/Post Metal

2.95 | 12 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
3 stars The album cover reflects the opening track quite well...an ambient introduction to an obviously black metallish album. I've heard plenty of black metal albums, so I'll give this album some credit from the getgo in that I haven't heard one sound quite like this. The production is where this album really shines...it's almost otherworldly and vast. Space rock on amphetamines. Concerning the guitars, there's a typical buzzy treble-heavy distorted guitar, but combined with a cleaner, warmer and reverbed guitar playing the overlapping melodies, the effect is actually trippy to an extent. Bass is audible, and the drums are odd, very precise and sharp...almost like an organic sounding drum machine. Thankfully, the drums aren't pushed front and center like on some metal albums, in fact I hardly notice them after awhile. Keyboards weave an atmospheric presence around this whole work to enhance the eerie yet epic vibe.

The album has two general settings. There's the aformentioned metallic sound setting and a drumless mellow setting with rather gorgeous sounding non-distorted guitars playing effective melodies that don't sound jarringly different compared to the other louder setting. The black metal this band plays, actually, isn't all that violent raging raw brutal whatever that entices teenage boys to not do there homework and buy black T-shirts with indecipherable band logos. The production is clearly meant to convey a lonely chilly atmosphere with an epic vibe, thus the album never felt grating. The vocals themselves, which are the standard black metal rasps with little to no variation are mixed low as to not get in the way with what the guitars and keyboards are attempting to convey.

As for the songs, they all carry the same vibe, same style, and possess the same sounds throughout. Not a surprise, to be honest. There are some exceptional moments within...I highly dig the opening odd melodic riffs of The Cosmic Echoes of Non-Matter, it's bizarre yet beautiful, and certain sections of The Formless Sphere are almost ridiculously majestic. There's a lot of good things to find, but there's also that sense of "sameness" that makes the last couple of tracks a chore to bother with since I've felt I heard it all before with the first batch of tunes. Still, it's all good music, with the exception of the vocals, which I found were bland and with hardly any character whatsoever...just a monotone rasp. Some of those song titles are rather spacey in a cool way..."Hey dude, it's like the formless sphere maaaaan".

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |

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