In the second stage, Blut aus Nord basically does for post-black metal what Katatonia did for doom with Brave Murder Day; the daze of repetition aligning the listener within the solitude of sounds, that which culminates into a willed, aural hypnotism. One could argue - in fact many will - that black metal’s charm was in its repetitions and production concurrently. However, with Desanctification, the melodies are not reaching for the surface bite of winter, but instead a much deeper, obscene affliction. With truly eye-grabbing artwork, which is a most rare element these days, a continuation sans reiteration of Sect(s), and even more disharmonic splendor (see 20th century minimalism), the second monolith in the 777 trilogy implores its deserved attention.
The male choirs are back, with more harmonies or some new, additional cackles depending on the mood, and it’s interesting how, as the album definitely slows down fully, the choir and instrumentation as a whole rises in ministration, a word only so appropriate for the theme well-deemed. The choir has more appearances as well, possibly more than screaming, for the epitomes here are much more melancholic, but also much more picturesque. The last half of Epitome VIII is a perfect exhibition of such, with sorrowful passages intertwining with a sort of astral hymn, which soon culminates back into the sinister disconcertion. It is hard not to visualize what this music could possibly be speaking to, inevitably due to its peculiar flow, but also because this album, a bit unlike the last, has a lot more space for the listener to wander...rather interesting considering the songs have more parts to them comparative to Sect(s).
The musical direction on the album is also very much more apparent than on Sect(s), and while the first track is a difficult starter, the progression of the songs, especially from Epitome VIII through XI, almost gives the indication of the band purposely writing in that order. The jolting, high-pitched chimes of Epitome XII interrupt this flow to begin the one-riff song of the album, but the more and more they blend into the background, the more they give off the impression of Tibetan singing bowls, just used for divisiveness rather than peace. This song continually builds upon itself and has more likeness to the first record, but is still very much at home with its woeful/menacing pairs. Many passages are rather, dare I say, anthemic, and Blut aus Nord’s trilogy only gains from this symbol of freedom, which, lyrically, the album seeks to embellish through stripping man of all dogma and politic. This is also a continuation of the album’s visual aesthetic, which, while slightly nihilistic, is strangely positive.
A trilogy so far so good, this album solidifies the idea that music can be about mood and not just the cool riffs. It doesn’t hurt that the topic is worth discussing, seeing as how man has reached a time where he should realize he is insubstantial and, overall, alone, a concept the album sticks to, and further directing the trilogy towards its unobstructed climax with 777: Cosmosophy, yet to be released. The atmosphere with this band is, as usual, untouchable and possibly only matched by bands such as Darkspace, Nazxul, or...earlier Blut aus Nord records, and given the fact that most metal has been on a downturn recently, records like this should not be passed up.