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BLUT AUS NORD

Experimental/Post Metal • France


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Blut Aus Nord biography
BLUT AUS NORD is a French experimental/ avant garde black metal act formed in 1994 by vocalist/ guitarist VINDSVAL. VINDSVAL started the black metal act VLAD in 1993 but after recording two demos under this monicker he opted for a name change. BLUT AUS NORD recorded the first couple of releases as a one-man act before adding additional members.

The debut album Ultima Thulée was released in 1995 and a second album followed in 1996 called Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age. There was a five year recording break before the third album release The Mystical Beast of Rebellion (2003). Up until then BLUT AUS NORD had been more or less a traditional black metal act but with the fourth studio album release The Work Which Transforms God (2004), the band started incorporating experimental and avant garde elements to their sound. The fifth studio album MoRT (2006) continues the avant garde approach of it´s predecessor while the band has somewhat returned to more traditional black metal ( still with some experimental elements) on their two latest studio albums Odinist - The Destruction of Reason by Illumination (2007) and Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars (2009).

BLUT AUS NORD´s inclusion in the the Prog Archives database has been approved by the Progressive Metal Team.

(Biography written by UMUR)

Blut Aus Nord official website

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Codex Obscura NominaCodex Obscura Nomina
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Memoria Vetusta II-Diablo...Memoria Vetusta II-Diablo...
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777 - The Desanctification777 - The Desanctification
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BLUT AUS NORD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BLUT AUS NORD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 13 ratings
Ultima Thulée
1995
2.67 | 8 ratings
Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age
1996
2.33 | 11 ratings
The Mystical Beast of Rebellion
2001
4.04 | 18 ratings
The Work Which Transforms God
2003
3.15 | 12 ratings
MoRT
2006
3.10 | 10 ratings
Odinist - The Destruction of Reason by Illumination
2007
1.10 | 2 ratings
Dissociated Human Junction
2007
3.16 | 15 ratings
Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars
2009
3.69 | 13 ratings
777 - Sect(s)
2011
3.76 | 14 ratings
777 - The Desanctification
2011
4.21 | 10 ratings
777 - Cosmosophy
2012
3.88 | 8 ratings
Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry
2014

BLUT AUS NORD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BLUT AUS NORD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BLUT AUS NORD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BLUT AUS NORD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.00 | 1 ratings
Decorporation...
2004
2.67 | 3 ratings
Thematic Emanation Of Archetypal Multiplicity
2005
2.58 | 5 ratings
What Once Was... Liber I
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
What Once Was... Liber II
2012
3.00 | 1 ratings
What Once Was... Liber III
2013

BLUT AUS NORD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 MoRT by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.15 | 12 ratings

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MoRT
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Whereas Blut Aus Nord's preceding album to this, The Work Which Transforms God, presented a series of compositions that juxtaposed dark industrial ambient sections with eruptions of black metal fury, here they take their experiment further. On MoRT, just as the distinctions between tracks break down (each reduced to a single chapter in one massive piece), so too does the distinction between the black metal, industrial, and ambient aspects of the group's sound, yielding a unique sonic landscape through which tormented vocals in the style of Tibetan throat singing warble.

It certainly isn't for everyone, and it's no surprise that people have an extreme reaction to it one way or another, but for my money it's one of the most rewarding sonic experiments arising from the black metal scene I have heard.

 Ultima Thulée by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.09 | 13 ratings

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Ultima Thulée
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Ultima Thulee' - Blut aus Nord (83/100)

If I ever feel I need to put my ego in check, I remind myself that Vindsval wrote and recorded Ultima Thulée when he was fifteen years old. Sure, you don't need to look far to find black metal musicians who got their start when they were incredibly young, but a lot of the young teens mucked about with raw demos, putting out better-developed material once they were older. Vindsval had his rough demo period in his time working under the name Vlad in the years leading up to Ultima Thulée, but by the time of a full-length it's clear he already knew exactly what to do and how to do it.

Ultima Thulée is a painfully underrated and overlooked piece of work. Released in 1995, a year where the Second Wave was finally beginning to die down, Ultima Thulée is a burst of fresh air. Blut aus Nord would evolve into one of black metal's strangest entities in the years following, but even starting out there was already a weird Otherness to the atmosphere. First impressions had me thinking of it as a crunchier-sounding Burzum. Indeed, the fantastical, wintery atmosphere is here (albeit with far chuggier tones than master Varg is wont to use) but Ultima Thulée hints at the band's avant-garde destiny more than most of their fans lead on. Listen to the way "The Son of Hoarfrost" opens up the album with horror film piano before bursting into thick guitars, eerie synths, chattering drums and murky screams. They're not a great deal weirder than early Emperor here, but a lot of their defining traits were onboard from the very start.

That's not to say that Ultima Thulée should be seen as a step to something greater. My appreciation for many debuts often takes the form of admiring how a band go to a certain point, but I won't hesitate in saying Blut aus Nord's genius was already just about in full swing with this one; it just takes a different shape than what most listeners are used to hearing from them. The thick atmosphere is best expressed on "The Plain of Ida", where Vindsval builds amazing riffs beginning under a droning dungeon synth line that would make Burzum weep. Where the song might naturally stop some minutes in, Vindsval tacks on a spacey build that almost nearly recalls Voivod. Although the song titles might make Ultima Thulée out to be a more traditional black metal record, there are all sorts of oddities found in the music. For another example, the plodding riffs on "The Last Journey of Ringhorn" sounds like a death-doom interpretation of what life would be like on an asteroid mining colony. It's strange to hear such a strong sci-fi flavour on an album that's supposedly about Norse mythology. I'm not surprised Blut aus Nord ultimately changed their tune in that regard.

Ultima Thulée is consistently engaging and surprisingly varied in its efforts. I'm not surprised that Blut aus Nord could excel in more "traditional" territory (relatively speaking, at least) but it is incredible that they had their craft nailed from such an early stage. Excellence in youth can sometimes be attributed to luck and simple intuition, but I don't think that was the case for Vindsval. There was real vision behind this album. If you're having any trouble finding it, keep an ear out for the way Ultima Thulée is structured. Like a lot of the best black metal albums from that era, the album can take you on a journey if you let it. Ambient threads like "My Prayer Beyond Ginnungagap" are allowed to take full blossom in the middle of the album. The end result may still be shy of the groundshaking perfection achieved on later albums like The Work Which Transforms God, but Blut aus Nord were out to break rules from the very beginning.

 The Work Which Transforms God by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.04 | 18 ratings

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The Work Which Transforms God
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'The Work Which Transforms God' - Blut aus Nord (96/100)

Blut aus Nord occupy a completely unique space in my mind. Even in light of their copycats, there's not a single group that shares their particular atmosphere. So many black metal bands try to sound "inhuman" with their music, but how many achieve that impression completely? If we were talking about a more traditional kind of black metal or a Darkclone, that inhumanness would be naturally interpreted as that of a demon, or some evil creature besides. Blut aus Nord takes a very different approach to Otherness, and they're all the more chilling for it. Each time I listen to this band, I get the growing sense that this is what black metal would sound like if it were written by a malevolent AI program. The Work Which Transforms God is the best/worst offender in this respect. Experience of this album lends one of the most striking impressions I've ever felt in black metal: This is the work of a completely non-human entity, or at least someone with the genius vision to bring that effect to life.

In many ways, The Work Which Transforms God is Blut aus Nord's defining album. Vindsval has always stuck fairly close to this industrial-laden, dissonant sound, but every album has weighed certain aspects over others. A more recent BaN record, Saturnian Poetry, was incredibly organic-sounding, and only bears resemblance to this in some of the tones and guitar phrasings. Even so, I never think of Blut aus Nord without thinking of the cold, empty pit they dug for themselves on this one. The Work Which Transforms God is almost entirely defined by its atmosphere, an industrial wasteland-variety sparseness that I've never heard brought to such extents anywhere else.

The only other project I can think of that envelops a listener in atmosphere like this is arguably Darkspace: infinitely colder than Darkthrone, vast and simultaneously claustrophobic all at once. In Blut aus Nord's case however, they bolster that tone with rich and disturbing riffs. Unlike Darkspace, many of the tracks here are individually distinctive. The vaguely melodic resolution in "Our Blessed Frozen Cells", the anxious swirl on "The Howling of God", not to mention the apocalyptic industrial dirge come the album's closing track, "Procession of the Dead Clowns"; all these moments and many more felt like a tortured relief from sanity the first time I heard them, and the effect's never worn off.

I know this band gets a lot of comparisons with Deathspell Omega. Fans of one would probably enjoy the other, sure, but that sort of comparison only goes so far in describing the music itself. Deathspell Omega's intellectualized spiritual blasphemies always made it feel like their chaotic murk had a higher purpose to it. Not helped by the fact this album's lyrics (indecipherable in the mix as it is) have never been released, it's difficult for me to think of The Work Which Transforms God as anything other than incredibly nihilistic in its aims. There is no joy in the music here. There have been times I've listened to this album and noticed myself coming out of it feeling miserable and worn-down. Even the revelatory melodic break in "Our Blessed Frozen Cells" lacks catharsis from the mire. Some people will see that negative emotional response as a bad thing. The Work Which Transforms God was never meant for them, if anyone at all. When I consider myself pretty desensitized to feeling something strongly in music, there's a morbid euphoria in hearing something that kills the spirit like this. Are there other black metal albums that drain the spirit from me like this? I can count them on one hand.

The Work Which Transforms God is excellently written and paced. Its genius, however, lies in the way it nurtures the atmosphere in production and execution. Blut aus Nord represents the best use of programmed drums ever heard in metal. Where I usually see "fake" percussion as a necessary evil at best in black metal, Vindsval uses it to his benefit, to the point where I'm not sure the album would be so great over a real kit. The guitar tone is mechanical but full, and despite echoing the timbres of machines so well in the music, it never once feels sterile. The Work Which Transforms God is what happens when an artist plunges deeper into an atmosphere than most others would dare dream of. Appreciating this cold, life-draining atmosphere shall be reserved for an elect few, while all others look on in bafflement.

 Ultima Thulée by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.09 | 13 ratings

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Ultima Thulée
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars The French black metal band BLUT AUS NORD has always pretty much been the project of Vindsval which began all the way back in 1994 with a couple demos under the Vlad moniker being released, but soon after the name of the project was changed to the grammatically incorrect German phrase meaning "Blood From North." On this debut album Vindsval handles all vocal and guitar duties but he also employs the percussive and keyboard skills of W.D. Feld, so this debut is more or less a duo rather than a solo project. ULTIMA THULÉE (a term that denotes any place beyond the known borders of the world in medieval geography) finds Vindsval and Feld riding the second wave of Norwegian black metal like a gazillion other bands of the era. Before BLUT AUS NORD cemented itself as more of a real band project and before the extremely avant-garde jangly and nightmarish atmospheric dissonance that the band would become famous for, we get a couple of more or less standard second wave black metal releases.

This debut sounds to me a lot like early Enslaved meets Darkthrone with the aggressive guitar delivery complete with blastbeats, gnarly tortured shrieks and muddy lo-fi production with only meagre progressive leanings. The band's knack for atmospheric embellishments also begins here and includes lots of scary keyboards however on this one they haven't quite found their unique niche and sound a lot like early Burzum especially from the "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" and "Filosofem" era. The album flows fairly well throughout its entirety and despite not dripping in originality is quite competently performed and a decent listen that i personally find appealing. Of course, this album gets overlooked for the very reason of not holding a candle to the more sophisticated developments which begin on "The Mystical Best Of Rebellion" but ULTIMA THULÉE is a solid black metal release that lovers of atmospheric black metal with heavy doses of dark ambient and dungeon synth should check out and is an interesting chapter of this unique band's musical history. 3.5 rounded down

 What Once Was... Liber II by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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What Once Was... Liber II
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by CassandraLeo

— First review of this album —
4 stars The What Once Was series (which shares a name with infamous black metal band Burzum's second album) is self-styled as Blut aus Nord's 'back to basics' series of EPs, intended to throw in some old-school death metal influence into their unusual mix of black metal, industrial, and progressive metal. For all that it's intended to be more primitive, the series still throws the band's signature odd time signatures and dissonance everywhere, and it's still unmistakably the work of Blut aus Nord.

Of the three releases in the series thus far (more are evidently planned), Volume II is probably the strongest. It's also likely to be the most interesting to fans of progressive metal, what with the nine-and-a-half-minute opening track (the longest track on any of these releases to date). The other tracks are quite solid as well, especially the last one, which to my estimation has one of the best riffs on any Blut aus Nord release (right up there with the riff in Memoria Vetusta II's 'The Formless Sphere').

The release still has the odd textures, tremolo picking, blast beats, harsh vocals, and warped dissonance one would expect from any of the band's non-Memoria Vetusta/Ultima Thulee releases, so black metal-phobic fans are forewarned. It may also be difficult for people who don't own a vinyl player to track down a digital recording of this release, because there isn't an official one (although vinyl rips do circulate the internet). But for those who are open to such things, there is quite a bit of enjoyable listening to be found here.

 Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.16 | 15 ratings

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Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by CassandraLeo

5 stars The title (indicating that this is a direct sequel to the band's sophomore effort) might suggest that Blut aus Nord was performing a conscious throwback to its early years. And to a rather large extent, that's true. This unquestionably belongs to the melodic black metal genre, and the melodic elements of the songwriting are unquestionably of a piece with the band's early material.

But thirteen years passed in between the release of Memoria Vetusta I and this album, and in that time Blut aus Nord picked up elements of industrial metal, avant-garde metal, progressive metal, and more. This isn't in line with the dissonant material found on albums like The Work Which Transforms God or the first two volumes of the 777 trilogy, but a closer listen to the instrumentation will reveal that a number of the instrumental textures found on those records can also be found here. A closer listen to the songwriting will reveal that this has every bit of the odd time signatures, structural complexity, and general weirdness found in the band's progressive metal works. This may sound like simple melodic black metal on the surface, but it's a lot more than that.

Quite a few fans have singled this recording out as Blut aus Nord's finest work, and it's certainly the one I've gone back to most often. It's in many ways the band's most tuneful release (insofar as anything with harsh vocals overlaying everything can be tuneful), and in some ways it's even a bit relaxing. It doesn't hurt that some of the riffs are utterly killer, either. If you want to get someone into extreme metal, just play them the riff at the end of "The Formless Sphere". I could listen to that riff all day.

This may not be standard progressive metal, but there is a lot here for prog fans who want to dig below the surface, as long as you're willing to dig past the harsh vocals. It may not be the best point of introduction for new listeners to this band who aren't used to black metal; that's probably Cosmosophy, but if you've digested that and are wondering where to go next, I find this to be an excellent next step. The next entry in this series, Saturnian Poetry, has a higher rating on this site (and it's the band's first full-length recording to contain live rather than programmed drums), but for my money they've never topped this record.

 Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.67 | 8 ratings

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Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age" is the 2nd full-length studio album by French black metal act Blut aus Nord. The album was released through Impure Creations Records in 1996. The original version was limited to 1000 copies. The album was re-released by Candlelight Records US division in 2005 with the shortened title "Fathers of the Icy Age".

The music on the album is atmospheric and at times slightly experimental black metal. The vocals are raspy. The use of keyboards in the music really enhances the dark atmosphere and at times provide an epic touch to the tracks. The music is not symphonic though and the keyboards are generally very tastefully placed in the mix and clearly composed to create atmosphere rather than playing a lead role. The tempos in the tracks are mostly mid-paced but there are faster paced parts too. The generally (for black metal) slow pace also helps build the epic atmosphere that is present on the album.

The sound production is raw and a bit lo-fi, but not without charm, and it suits the rawness of the music well. Upon conclusion "Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age" is a good quality atmospheric black metal release and a great follow up to "Ultima Thulée (1995)". The music is intriguing and cleverly composed, the musicianship are solid, and the sound production suits the music, so I´d say a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fair.

 The Work Which Transforms God by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.04 | 18 ratings

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The Work Which Transforms God
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mingling eerie ambient instrumental sections with brutal traditional black metal and capped off with the doomy epic of Procession of the Dead Clowns, The Work Which Transforms God finds Blut Aus Nord really showing their range. It's sufficiently rooted in black metal that if you don't like the chilly aesthetic of that scene you probably won't enjoy the album, and black metal purists might find the ambient sections boring, but if you're up for a blend of dark ambient and darker metal it's a confident, credible release which sets the scene for further experimentation from Blut Aus Nord later on down the line.
 MoRT by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.15 | 12 ratings

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MoRT
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars One of the more polarizing metal albums I've come across, MoRT is one hell of a dissonant affair that's alternatively punishing and mesmerizing. Far removed from what the band were doing a decade before, Blut Aus Nord aim for a cold industrial tone draped by numerous deranged melodies and inhuman vocals that blend in with the guitar patterns to form an uncomfortable aura.

Unlike the sort of black metal albums that attempt to capture an air of forests in winter and howling winds of the North, MoRT aims for a more urban affair, like the darkest alleyways in the seediest corners of a dark and cold metropolis, and as an atmospheric piece it succeeds. This album is wretched, but quite enthralling. Creepy ambient passages give way to delirious chord and single note guitar patterns that are actually complex and nowhere near easy to reproduce. Sometimes it does sound like musical instruments hemorrhaging, but there will always be eerily beautiful patterns to follow them, while still remaining more than a little askew. "Chapter IV" even boasts an unusually gorgeous solo over these warped riffs that shows awareness and well thought out progressions rather than just unbridled lunacy. "Chapter V" is probably the most well-rounded number, comprising most of this albums best aspects in a single song, with even room for a bit of consonant melody to shake things up.

What will turn off some listeners is the similarities between songs, as the album plays better as an atmospheric whole, which can become tedious or stomach-turning after a while depending on what you had eaten that day. I find the music borderline fascinating as this dreary horrid ride through foggy city streets littered with trash and general dilapidation, but it's certainly not for everyone, as the tempos remain almost plodding, eschewing the more typical frenetic speeds of black metal acts, and the vocals, buried in the mix are hardly decipherable. If the running time were any longer, it would actually begin to be more of an annoyance than a nightmare.

Yet I dig it. Not as something I would play all that often, but when the conditions are right this is one strange and chilling journey. Vindsval really went all out here, much to the chagrin of a decent portion of fans of Blut Aus Nord's early work, but to the benefit of the more courageous and patient to deal with such an odd form of loud music.

 777 - Cosmosophy by BLUT AUS NORD album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.21 | 10 ratings

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777 - Cosmosophy
Blut Aus Nord Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Puppies On Acid

4 stars Atmospheric, industrial, ambient black metal...? Or something like that. There aren't too many bands that sound even close to Blut Aus Nord. They are one of the more unique bands to come out of the black metal scene and this albums just serves to prove that. This is probably their slowest/least aggressive album to date, but it does so many things right. Spacey and open atmospheric melodies let the music really breathe, while at the same time it can be crushing with its haunting overtones and trance-like riffs. Well worth picking up, especially if you have already heard the first 2 albums in this trilogy and/or already are a fan of Blut Aus Nord and their ever changing sound. It also proves, at least to me, that some of the best black metal comes out of France these days.
Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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