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THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD

Blut Aus Nord

Experimental/Post Metal


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Blut Aus Nord The Work Which Transforms God album cover
4.19 | 22 ratings | 5 reviews | 45% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing


Disc 1:

1. End (1:50)
2. The Choir of the Dead (6:42)
3. Axis (3:36)
4. The Fall (1:31)
5. Metamorphosis (5:22)
6. The Supreme Abstract (2:59)
7. Our Blessed Frozen Cells (7:55)
8. Devilish Essence (2:06)
9. The Howling of God (6:19)
10. Inner Mental Cage (2:57)
11. Density (0:18)
12. Procession of the Dead Clowns (9:55)

Total Time 51:30

Disc 2 on Candlelight Records re-release:

1. Enter (The Transformed God Basement) (4:47)
2. Level-1 (Nothing is) (7:58)
3. Level-2 (Nothing is Not) (7:10)
4. Level-3 (Nothing Becomes) (7:14)
5. Exit (Towards the Asylum) (1:01)

Total Time 28:10

Line-up / Musicians


- Vindsval / Vocals, Guitars
- W.D. Feld / Drums, Keyboards
- GhÖst / Bass

Releases information

Released on the 17th of March 2003 by Appease Me.../Adipocere
Re-released by Candlelight Records in 2005 w/ a second disc featuring the
Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity (2005) EP

Thanks to UMUR for the addition
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BLUT AUS NORD The Work Which Transforms God ratings distribution


4.19
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
45%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
23%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

BLUT AUS NORD The Work Which Transforms God reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars With song titles like "The Choir of the Dead" and "Procession of the Dead Clowns", this is not an album to play as background music for bingo events or Sunday brunches. It's bleak, cold, unforgivable and downright mean sounding. It's also pretty noisy, which most likely helps constitute why Blut Aus Nord doesn't get a lot of love here.

The music is almost a miasma of buzzy guitars playing dissonant melodies propulsed by somewhat industrial sounding drum tracks that pinball between slow grooves and ripping blasts. Vocals are basically growls and screams that are completely indecipherable, along with some distant additional vocal tracks that sort of meander and weave in and out of the music along with some keyboards to add to the creepy aura. There are a few tracks that are essentially eerie interludes to keep the haunting vibe afloat before the next onslaught of hair- raising chord progressions kicks in.

The French black metal scene had some unique ideas and style going on the first decade of this century judging by this effort. The guitar playing in particular is played in an interesting fashion...such as two guitars deliberately tuned to be a bit 'off' from each other to create this sick sounding swarming insect sound...which reminds me of Deathspell Omega to some extent, although this Blut Aus Nord album just about predates DsO's incorporation of that dissonant aggression into their work. Normally the idea of programmed drums is a big turn off for me, but in this case they work. There's a surprising amount of creativity going on in the programming, as if the tracks were performed by some progbot software.

There are a few tracks that don't quite measure up to others here, but songs like "The Choir of the Damned" with its angry bizarre riffs and the impressive variations on display in "Our Blessed Frozen Cells" are just too damn good to deny. The last track ends things on an impressive note as well, sounding almost gorgeous in a weirdly majestic fashion. I'm no fan of stagnant by-the-numbers black metal, thus I found this to be a bit of a treat and it had a sound of its own when it was released.

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.
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.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars BLUT AUS NORD which began as the one-man band formed by Vindsval, was hardly anything out of the ordinary as this Mondville act from France joined a new legion of second wave black metal acts as they copied the likes of Darkthrone and Emperor while Scandinavia, particularly Norway was headquarters for the new depraved musical scene that was exploding onto the world's stage. While starting out as a typical but satisfying atmospheric black metal band with the two 90s albums "Ultima Thulée" and "Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age," with Vindsval's third attempt after working on other projects and focusing on BLUT AUS NORD, "The Mystical Beast of Rebellion" displayed that the French scene was taking the black metal scene to a new level with more intellectual subject matter as well as hitherto unthinkable experimental approaches that rankled the sensibilities of those stuck on the gerbil wheel of orthodoxies where many black metal purists find themselves stuck.

While the 20th century was clearly dominated by the Scandinavians, the 21st century saw French acts like Deathspell Omega, Peste Noire and Nehëmah transmogrifying the incessant brutality of the second wave into a more mysterious and even frightening leap of ingenuity. BLUT AUS NORD was one of the pioneers in this ascension of quality that added more progressive and experimental elements to the discordant angst and bombast of the 90s black metal scene. BLUT AUS NORD became a bona fide band in the 21st century with Vindsval on guitars and vocals along with GhÖst on bass and W.D. Feld on drums and keyboards. While "The Mystical Beast of Rebellion" pointed a new direction for BLUT AUS NORD to take, the following THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD was the moment when the band hits its stride and struck a balance between traditional black metal, progressive rock and atmospheric experimentation which found a greater emphasis on both dark ambient and industrial textures.

The popularity of this album corresponded with the band signing on to a bigger record label. The band caught the attention of Candlelight Records and was immediately signed which resulted in the ability to craft an even more dynamic range of black metal possibilities and the ability to be exposed to a much larger audience. While a few brave black metal bands like Ved Buens Ende, Ulver and Dødheimsgard had delved into more avant-garde black metal expressions, most of these bands found little success until the French scene raised the expectations and crafted a more sophisticated expression of the grim brutal sounds that black metal had conjured up from dark forces. As a result of a label shift and a leap in artistic growth, BLUT AUS NORD launched itself with the intricate ugliness presented on THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD which weaved the black metal orotundity with a psychedelic soup of dark ambient sounds, industrial backdrops and avant-garde methodologies peppered with off-kilter progressive time signature shifts and hypnotic death marches into a gravity-free abyss.

One of the most prominent features of this particular new wave of French black metal is the use of extreme dissonance that are interlaced with thick heavy atmospheres fortified with echoey delayed feedback, hypnotic looped rhythms and the use of eerie creepy tempos that find ghostly vocals reaching out from the void. The final track titled "Procession Of The Dead Clowns," adequately sums up the entire experience of THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD with jittery guitar riffs, suffocating atmospheric cloud covers and steady marches into the unknown. While very different than much of the 90s black metal scene, BLUT AUS NORD retained the tremolo guitar rampages, growled raspy vocals and occasional blastbeat drumming that despite emanating from drum machines doesn't sound out of place in this lifeless sonic zone.

While much of 90s black metal can come off as a one-dimension tritone fascination that focuses on anti-Christian rants or misanthropic outrage, BLUT AUS NORD tackled more esoteric wisdom that while not discernible by the vocals are clearly expressed in the track titles, a trait that would become popular as occult theologies became the focus of thematic explorations over mindless juvenile angst. Godflesh obviously played a huge role in influencing the creepy crawly industrial tracks however BLUT AUS NORD crafted a unique musical vision that set itself apart from the legions of second wave imitators. Laced with a plethora of unsettling sounds that accompany the ceaseless plodding of drums and riffs, THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD sounds as if it's a musical world that drifts in and out of our dimensional reality as tunings veer slightly out of tune and back in an oscillating undulating wave of dissonance and even more dissonance. The hypnotic nature of the album finds mid-tempo stomps creepily infiltrated by weird squeals, screeches and psychedelic ooze. All in all, this is a masterful display of musical darkness wrapped in a metaphysical display of esoteric wisdom. A triumphant expression of the dark arts in music form.

Latest members reviews

2 stars A journey to hell with this French band. This band is labelled as Post-Rock. Maybe Post-Black Metal is a much more fitting label. On their previous albums, Blut Aus Nord sounded like a mix between Gorgoroth and Burzum. They changed their sound on this album and got a very industrial sound. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#254698) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, December 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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