Review Summary: Same old, same amazing old!
There are particular moments in life that don’t necessarily scare us but make us feel uneasy; they make us feel extremely uncomfortable if you will. Particularly in music, these moments come from extricated song standards that seem to peel themselves back from the conventional comfort zones that we’re all taught (or brainwashed) to feel warmth in. To be even more specific, black metal in general does this for me where that sense of uneasiness comes to surface through atmosphere and some good, wholesome hatred brought to you by notable countries such as Norway and the United States of America. A lesser known player to this game is France, possessing a ridiculous amount of talent in the black metal field where the picturesque landscapes and delicate architectural urban centres are now being transformed into images of bleak, desolate tundra’s that are channelled through chaotic passages that blast your skull into oblivion, all the while leaving you feeling like you’ve just discovered time-travel on a multi-paradox level. Two particular albums that come to mind are last years Paracletus
by Deathspell Omega and this years stellar release by Blut Aus Nord called 777 Sect(s)
, both of which are the best examples of forward thinking black metal you could conjure up at this point in time.
Paradoxal time traveling or not, Blut Aus Nord are not only warping minds with their time-stretching compositions, 777
is also the beginning of a trilogy of albums set to play out over the next two years. Besides a broader understanding of the general lyrical themes that BAN have been penning to their albums over the past seventeen years (God, Satan, Individualism, Spiritualism etc.), good luck finding deeper meaning within the French lyrics and indiscernible vocals. If this tri-conceptual theme seems familiar to you, your mind is not playing games with itself for Deathspell Omega have done this before with the same underlying ideological contemplations. Truth be told though, this topic is so broad in its scope of interpretation that one could get away with a career of writing this same concept (I believe too many black metal bands have done this already). This minor flaw is overlooked when you get down to their compositions of constantly transforming and burgeoning black metal set out in BAN’s sounds.
Broken down into a six set epitome, each track contained on 777
is BAN through and through. ‘Epitome 1’ is your prime example, kicker-of-an-opening-track that wraps a warped, atonal melody around a mind-melting technical display of blasting black metal and off-kilter rhythm section. The point trying to be made here is that BAN have always been excellent at creating an omnipresent atmosphere that incorporates as much necro-creepiness as it does brutality. This has always worked for them and I believe the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Besides the gothic, alternative metal dirges of ‘Epitome 2’, much of 777
plays out in the same familiar territory any fan of the band would be used to except when we come to the mid-point of the album called ‘Epitome 4’. This elongated, Meshuggah-esque slinker is a slower affair that masks its beauty in an outright, haunting “Godfleshy” stomp. Yes the band has always had an affinity towards industrial music and if you didn’t see this before, you cannot deny it now. It’s not until around the two minute mark or so that the bands really shows its love for a good melody, suddenly to be thrown back down to earth in an industrialized atmosphere that picks up where the rest of the album left off.
Inching forward ever so slowly with each album, Blut Aus Nord have once again subtly increased the complexity and uneasiness of their black metal since their 2010 release What Once Was…
. And how well does this hold up to the rest of their discography? Any person worth his/her gold in black metal will tell you that one or two albums in BAN’s discography appeal to their liking and 777 Sect(s)
should be no different given the general perspective of the bands music and ideology. In fact, let 777
be known that BAN are still at the forefront of progressing black metal forward and are clearly one of the more intriguing extreme metal bands out there today.