Blut Aus Nord
Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry


3.8
excellent

Review

by hyperion EMERITUS
October 10th, 2014 | 188 replies


Release Date: 10/10/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Memoria Vetusta III: Dialogue With The Riffs

It’s hard to fault Blut Aus Nord for their artistic vision. In exploring the sonic landscapes of everything from atmospheric black metal to industrial dirges and trip-hop influenced beatcrafting, these French extreme metal powerhouses have never been ones to sacrifice their sound in favor of following trends or appeasing potential outside influences. As a byproduct of this diverse and extensive career, the critical reaction that follows the band’s history tends to be just about as varied as their catalogue. With this being said, among the vast and impenetrable pantheon of music Blut Aus Nord has released in their almost 20 year career, two of their more universally lauded releases have been the albums released in the long standing Memoria Vetusta series: 1996’s sophomore, second-wave influenced Fathers of the Icy Age and the melodically transcendent Dialogue With The Stars in 2009. With the band seemingly more and more interested in the idea of releasing albums as a part of a series (the latest string of albums all being a part of either the Liber or 777 trilogies) it seemed high time they revisit and possibly bookend the longest running and arguably most successful of their thematically related efforts.

Now, in 2014, Blut Aus Nord have seen fit to resurrect the melodic aural landscapes of the Memoria Vetusta series (which they have adamantly proclaimed is not a trilogy) and expand on the ideas they began nearly 20 years ago. Saturnian Poetry, their latest effort and the third release in this thematic cycle, is a fully realized, wholly successful addition to not only the Memoria Vetusta series itself but to the entire Blut Aus Nord cannon. In fact, it might be the best album the band has released since Dialogue With The Stars in 2009. Dropping all of the industrial and electronic influences that have defined the band’s sound over the last few years, Saturnian Poetry is an unrelenting return to their roots, grounded in the melodic second-wave black metal sensibilities that defined their earliest releases and translated so well into the 2009 iteration of the Memoria Vetusta tradition.

While the gap between Father of the Icy Age and Dialogue With The Stars was considerably large, both chronologically and stylistically, the jump from Dialogue to Saturnian Poetry is far less pronounced. In fact, in many ways, this newest record is an almost a direct continuation of the groundwork laid out by 2009’s Dialogue With The Stars. While the lyrical and ideological themes of Saturnian Poetry are less grounded in the celestial concepts toyed with on Dialogue, musically it is chock full of the same kinds of melodic riffs and atmospherics that have defined the previous iterations in this series. While the ambient sections that were characteristic of Dialogue are present as well, they have been significantly curtailed, leaving us with an album that has seen all of the cinematic fat trimmed to markedly restrained levels (arguably an improvement over the previous efforts). What is left is nearly 50 minutes of streamlined, captivating melodic black metal that has been a hallmark of the Memoria Vetusta lineage since its inception all those years ago.

Blut Aus Nord have also vastly improved how their latest offering sounds. While the drum machine that has been an essential part of their aesthetic for almost as long as they’ve been around worked wonderfully with the more industrial, dissonant atmospherics of many of their other releases, it did a bit of a disservice to the kind of music they attempted to craft on Dialogue With The Stars. This time around, Blut Aus Nord seem to have employed the services of a physical drummer behind the kit who proves to be more than apt at complementing this style of music. Coupled with a particularly accomplished production and mastering job, they have made sure that the sound of this record matches the competence of their compositions. With clean, crisp guitars and balanced, well-mixed percussion, Saturnian Poetry is dynamic and professional without sounding overproduced for the kind of music it contains. It isn’t just a good album; it sounds good as well.

Still, even when taking into account the many successful tweaks the band has made with this release, Saturnian Poetry doesn’t quite manage to be as good as the first two albums in the Memoria Vetusta series. While there are certainly an ample amount of great riffs and masterfully crafted melodic passages indicative of only the most seasoned extreme metal acts, the fact that this album sound so similar to Dialogue With The Stars makes it all the more apparent that it and Fathers of an Icy Age do a better job of capturing the transcendental cosmic sound they have been pursuing for the length of this series (unfortunately, it is doubtful that they will ever manage to write anything as good as “Disciple’s Liberation” again). While tracks like "Forhist" and "Metaphor of the Moon" contain some of the most engaging compositions they have crafted in recent years, they simply are not as captivating as some of the more sublime moments contained on either of the two aforementioned albums.

This does not mean, however, that Saturnian Poetry is not a worthy addition to the Memoria Vetusta series and the Blut Aus Nord catalogue in general. While it might not stand above the albums that precede it, it is a fully realized and artfully crafted release that deserves an ample amount of recognition even when compared to its earlier thematic brethren. Blut Aus Nord have proven why they are still one of the premiere extreme metal acts around, and Saturnian Poetry should please almost everyone who has been eagerly anticipating a continuation of their unique brand of melodic and atmospheric black metal.



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user ratings (176)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hyperion1001
Emeritus
October 9th 2014


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

pleasantly surprised by this, seeing as how i havent really cared for anything theyve done in recent years. "Forhist", "Henosis", and "Metaphor of the Moon" are are stellar tracks.



there's a ton of formatting and bbcode in this one so if you catch any little oversights that slipped through the cracks let me know, im pretty sure i got it all though.

zaruyache
October 9th 2014


17037 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I've skimmed the album and it doesn't seem nearly as weird--which is to say, BAN-esque--but rather was more just straight-forward melodic bm. Idk if I like that.

emester
October 9th 2014


8107 Comments


album was pretty great. Nice change of pace from the 777 trilogy. II and Works That Transform God are superior imo

Veldin
October 9th 2014


2923 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

very enjoyable, but every track starts the same, i swear

TheCrocodile
October 9th 2014


2610 Comments


Only checked The Work Which... and was never courageous enough to attack the rest of the discog. Not that they aren't good but I feel intimidated by their discog. Great review.

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
October 9th 2014


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

its definitely a daunting task, its like i said, their discography spans many styles with no rhyme or reason really



but if youre a fan of masterfully crafted melodic black metal, the MV series is definitely a must hear.

someguest
October 9th 2014


28162 Comments


These guys live up to their mysterious shroud well. I'll give this a listen if I find the time (read: maybe).

someguest
October 9th 2014


28162 Comments


Noctus gave this a 2.5 so it's probably close to a 4 for everyone else.

TheSpaceMan
October 10th 2014


8505 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that album art tho

NocteDominum
October 10th 2014


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Still waiting for this to grow, some if not a lot. Don't know, just not feeling this one as much as I probably should.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2014


22442 Comments


Nice summary and review is just as good. Haven't heard much by this band but looking forward to changing that

Digging: Captain, We're Sinking - The King of No Man

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2014


32190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0



Noctus gave this a 2.5 so it's probably close to a 4 for everyone else.




yup

Gyromania
October 10th 2014


22144 Comments


excellent review. gotta check this out asap

Crysis
Emeritus
October 10th 2014


17232 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this is the best thing they've done in years

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2014


7463 Comments


Album stream: http://dmp666.bandcamp.com/album/memoria-vetusta-iii-saturnian-poetry

I concur about "Henosis" being awesome, it's a track to play on repeat.




Noctus gave this a 2.5 so it's probably close to a 4 for everyone else.

soooo this

Wizard
October 10th 2014


20082 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wish you would write more bm reviews Hype. You've always had a knack at coming up with the best descriptions for every album you do (also referencing Rahu review which is nearly a perfect record).



I've been on a huge BaN kick lately, prepping myself for this. I doubt this will ever touch Odinist though.

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
October 10th 2014


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

ive just been interested in so many different things recently that i cant focus on one genre long enough to find things i want to review. guess thats not totally a bad thing though haha.



but yeah if you liked their earlier MV stuff youll dig this, im not sure if you prefer the dissonant industrial BaN to the melodic BaN, but i think it should tickle your fancy either way.

Storm In A Teacup
October 10th 2014


21799 Comments


I have no idea who this band is but that album art though

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
October 10th 2014


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

its necrolord and hes awesome



theyre being displayed in gothenburg in some art gallery so if you happen to be swedish check it out



https://www.facebook.com/debemurmorti/photos/a.169920163060312.48446.158207917564870/804923752893280/?type=1&theater

InFlamesWeThrash666
October 10th 2014


6435 Comments


Will definitely check this

Digging: Thou Art Lord - The Regal Pulse of Lucifer



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