Blut Aus Nord
Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity


4.0
excellent

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
December 25th, 2007 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Simply put, an artistic gem. Dark and brooding, this atmospheric album is only stopped from being a classic by a single misplaced and unfitting track.

If anyone has seen the cover of this album (or you could look to your right), you will see that it is a grey and distorted inner-city street, which is completely deserted and void of any colour, light or hope. This is basically what Thematic Emanation is as an EP; a dark and torturous journey into the inner depths of your mind. This isn’t the type of release to be taken lightly, where you can pick it up and listen to a song or two and leave it for later. You need to put it on, close your eyes, and let the darkness wash over you. To be honest, this came as a huge surprise to me. I had never listened to Blut Aus Nord before, and all I knew about them was that they were a French black metal band. This EP is far from black metal. Rather, it is a combination of dark, atmospheric passages and industrial metal, with no lyrics bar a couple of spoken word sections. But this is where the EP falls short of its mark. I would have very easily given this 28 minute, relatively unknown EP a rating of 5 if it had not been for the shoddy attempt at incorporating industrial themes into the music. The only song where the industrial music is really apparent is the third track, Level-2 (Nothing is Not). Seeing as it is 7 minutes long and represents a quarter of the EP, there was no way I could overlook it. Nonetheless, the rest of the EP is absolute brilliance.

For those that do not already know, I have had a long lasting love affair with concept albums, especially when they are politically significant, or dark and mysterious. Thematic Emanation falls under the latter. It is so mysterious in fact, that I can’t be certain of what it is about nor can I find anything on the internet that will give me much of a clue. I translated the several French phrases in the booklet, but alas I was still not in a position of understanding. Still, the beauty of it is that not knowing what it is about makes it all the more enjoyable to listen to. Like I said before, the mystery makes it interesting. However, I will try to make some sort of sense from the EP, and I hope that my rambling will help you to reach your own conclusions as well. So together with a brooding, intense atmosphere, the EP takes you on a journey, beginning in the Transformed God Basement, through Levels 1, 2 and 3, and then out, towards the Asylum.

Enter (The Transformed God Basement)

The album begins with faint, heavenly voices calling out in the distance. They’re echoed, blurred, as if in a dream. Suddenly, you’re thrown awake by an evil, brooding, lumbering beast. The introduction to Thematic Emanation is a slow moving, eerie piece of music, that is driven by its weighted drum beats, and mutated into something dark, dank, dingy, dirty, or shall we say ‘Basement-like’, by the twisted synth. The guitars and drums are slow moving, and the introduction sets the mood perfectly for your entrance to Level-1, Nothing Is.

Level-1 (Nothing Is)

This is the best track on the EP. It’s thesis being that Nothing is here, Nothing is real, Nothing Is. It begins immediately with the same lumbering pace that Enter left us with, but with an entrancing, forlorn lead guitar playing over the slow riffing and drumming. Distorted screams and voices resonate through your head as you drift in and out of consciousness. A little while into the song, the nightmare becomes a reality when the synth begins. An aggressive, menacing melody, which lasts for less than half a minute, but paves the way for the most striking moment on the CD. The entire song stops and the aforementioned lead guitar wails by itself, emphasising the torment behind the music. To be honest, I was very stricken by the song. Throughout its entire length, be it synth samples, the haunting lead guitar, the menacing riffs, or the spoken word samples, I was hooked onto every little sound Blut Aus Nord fed into my ears. The song reached two amazing climaxes in its 8 minutes, before finally collapsing into Nothing, which is where you realise that it’s all Nothing, Nothing exists, Nothing is real, Nothing Is.

Level-2 (Nothing Is Not)

This is where I stop the abuse of adjectives and tell you why this album is not perfect. The third track, Nothing Is Not, is a complete departure from anything that the EP had made you envision so far. I do not doubt that it is part of the concept, and obviously you aren’t going to find the same things on Level 2 as you did on Level 1, but this track ruined the EP for me. I was not able to comprehend any sort of meaning or relevance from the placing of Level-2. Instead of doing something as stark and imaginative as Level 1, we have a bland and monotonous industrial track that doesn’t really bridge the emotion portrayed by the first section and last section of the album. The song begins with another slow drum beat, and then a head-nod inducing bass line soon follows. That is the first half of the song. The second half of the song is a more pronounced bass line, much lighter drumming, and more audible synth. The two sections are connected by a quiet minute and a half interlude. I was overall disappointed with this track, and really thought it stole the EP’s thunder.

Level-3 (Nothing Becomes)

With the last major track, Blut Aus Nord manage to re-piece the atmosphere they had first created, after the shocking Level-2. Nothing Becomes is in a way very melodic , and a great conclusion to the tri-partite nightmare that is Thematic Emanation. The track is drowned in soft, mellow, melancholic synth, and made very spooky with a continuous chanting, and it will lull you to the understanding that is required. You’ve reached Level-3, and this is the point where you realise it is all pointless, Nothing Ends, Nothing Begins, Nothing Was, Nothing Is, and Nothing will ever Become. Life as it is understood by some will never Become anything. You’ve understood the selfishness and depravity of what our lives really are, and you are at peace with this realisation. The very end of the track sees you leaving this building of torment, this building that opened your eyes, and facing the real world. Fading metallic noises move away into nothingness, and you step outside to face your reckoning.

Exit (Towards the Asylum)

Exit is the conclusion to this journey you’ve undertaken, and is mainly made up of sound-effects and a sort of chanting that sounds similar to an Islamic prayer, played from a mosque. The track begins with a horrible scraping noise, or your return outside. There is distorted, evil heckling, that surrounds you while the chanting is your prosecutor, condemning you for falling out of line. For your punishment, you are declared insane and it’s off to the Asylum you go. There was another ending I envisioned in the music as well. The final few seconds have the track fading, and the sounds of someone gulping, choking for air, which could easily represent your punishment of being hung by your neck while the crowd jeers below you. Either way, it finishes off the album extraordinarily.

Overall, the album is magnificent. There is no pretension; the album is solid and humbling. Even so, the third track really did not work for me. There may be some people who enjoy it, some who even think it musically fits with the rest of the songs, but I did not think it fit. Rather, it felt very out of place. If not for Level-2, I would have had no qualms in giving this release a 5. Still, it is a brilliant atmospheric EP, and I highly recommend it to anyone. I also hope that my obscure and imaginative attempts at deciphering the album are not out of place; instead, I hope they help you make your own mind about what this album really wants you to think and feel.

Rien n’est...L’oeil se trompe...
Et ne voit que ce qui est projeté sur un écran de volonté.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
December 25th 2007


14555 Comments


This will either be a) my best review yet, or b) a great pile of bullshit that rambles on to nowhere. Sputnik, you decide.
Also, I didn't mention in the review, the full title of the EP is (it didn't fit in the album name box):
"Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity" (Soundtracks For Scientists of Occult Synchretism).
Also, this is grouped under Black Metal because of the band, but this EP is not black metal at all, as you will discover from the review.This Message Edited On 12.25.07

SCREAM!
December 25th 2007


10341 Comments


Read till the second track. The review is good(so far), the album sounds interesting(so far) but im just too tired to keep reading... BTW check out my help list. I want as many opinions as i can get.

BallsToTheWall
December 25th 2007


44805 Comments


Cool review layout. It's good to see other review presentations. However, I can't do that. I do mine relatively quick but I'd rather not mess with success anyways. Good band, don't own any records from them yet but plan on it.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Zoo
December 25th 2007


3759 Comments


Their first album is the only one I've heard. I'd be surprised if this surpasses that, though.

rasputin
December 25th 2007


14555 Comments


Scream: done.
Balls: I didn't think my usual way of reviewing would be suitable for exploring how cool this album really is. I sort of needed to do an overall, and THEN do a track by track together with the overall thing. I think the review is pretty good, but then I think cucumber and cheese sandwiches are good, so I'm not convinced.

Mahavidya
December 25th 2007


99 Comments


Didn't you just get this?

rasputin
December 25th 2007


14555 Comments


I don't think this can really grouped together with their other albums, as far as I know they mostly play black metal. Thematic really has no relevance to black metal.

rasputin
December 25th 2007


14555 Comments


Didn't you just get this?

I got it a little over a week ago. You may have seen my post in the christmas thread, but as I'm travelling ive been receiving christmas presents a little earlier.

Nostalgia
December 25th 2007


64 Comments


Shitty album. Blut Aus Nord is some of the trendiest shit out there.

Slaytan
December 25th 2007


1186 Comments


The review was very well written, good job reznor. I must say though, I can't stand Blut Aus Nord.

Shattered_Future
December 26th 2007


1541 Comments


Does this have ass production like The Work That Transforms God? Cause I didn't like that album at all, though I can't remember if it was entirely the production's fault or not...

If this one has decent production, maybe I'll check it out. Good review too.

rasputin
December 26th 2007


14555 Comments


How can you all not appreciate the depth behind it? Shattered_Future, the production is pretty good, as most of it is electronically done anyway. I'll repeat again, it isn't black metal so it doesn't feature shitty production as one of its selling points.

Dethtrasher
December 26th 2007


2211 Comments


Cool review, very interesting as well. I have heard that this band is quite unique, or at least special. Maybe I will check these guys out.

Slaytan
December 26th 2007


1186 Comments


How can you all not appreciate the depth behind it?

I could never get into them, I suppose they're just not my cup of tea.

rasputin
December 27th 2007


14555 Comments


I could never get into them, I suppose they're just not my cup of tea.

This apparently isn't really like their other releases. I won't say for sure until I hear some of their other material, but their genre is black metal, and this is EP can be in no circumstance considered to be black metal. Therefore my assumption is that this EP is an exception to their general sound. So with that, try and forget any preconceptions you had of Blut Aus Nord.

Slaytan
December 27th 2007


1186 Comments


I own one of their other albums, I can't recall the name off the top of my head, but I was far from impressed. The production was horrid, even by black metal standards, and the music was poor, IMO anyway.
However, because you stand so strongly behind this album, I'll check it out. Perhaps I'll be surprised.

rasputin
December 31st 2007


14555 Comments


Yeah check it out, as far as i can assume, this isn't really similar to their other work. If I just take into the account the album and ignore the band, I would think it ridiculous that a black metal band made this. I paid quite a bit for it (13 pounds) and that is quite pricey for what this is, but if you can find it for a reasonable price, i'd definitely recommend you check it out.

Bleep
July 31st 2010


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Idk I think level 2 is pretty awesome

rasputin
August 1st 2010


14555 Comments


yeah well you're wrong

Duderino
May 16th 2012


828 Comments


no i'm pretty sure he's right actually



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