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


Blut Aus Nord


Experimental/Post Metal

3.37 | 28 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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.

CassandraLeo | 5/5 |


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