Blut Aus Nord: 777 – Sects

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Blut Aus Nord: 777 – Sects
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Blut Aus Nord: 777 - Sects
Black Metal
Debemur Morti Productions
April 19th, 2011
Release length: 45:29
Website
Blut Aus Nord, the French Black Metal act, continues to grow in strength, and the legions of loyal fans continue to grow in stronger numbers. With the amount of releases already under the band’s belt, as well as the recent reissue of The Mystical Beast of Rebellion, this underground group is quickly being drug out to the main levels of Metal famedom by the hungry masses looking for raw, sinister Black Metal without that recorded-in-my-mother’s-basement feel. 777 – Sect(s) marks the group’s eigth full-length, playing out over the course of eight “epitomes”, and brings in a distinctively different atmosphere, even an altered musical approach to the music. However, will throw pulling this group from the underground realms hear this release and continue, or will they cast the band back to the depths to which they forged?

777 – Sect(s) more then likely won’t win over an new fans, but it definitely gives their established fan base a little of everything with this recording. The music on this album is greatly varied, both in performance and atmosphere, which speaks a lot for this band considering that many French Black Metal bands are known for having a very distinct and often artistic atmosphere, one of the main allures to many in the Black Metal world. However, 777 – Sect(s) isn’t like that, and a far departure from their earlier work, including that recent reissue of The Mystical Beast of Rebellion. The album starts off with a chaotic, almost maniacal sounding “Epitome I”, setting a cibe that comes off literally as hell, or at the very least nightmarish. The furious music with vocals that feel layered with no real rhythm to the music weaves a very intense, firey vibe that welcomes the listener, though the song does take some moments that give off a slower, epic yet fear-inducing attempt to further push the hellish vibe of the faster music. While the vocals to this do aid the song, they come off a little pointless and, in the end, you pretty much just wish they weren’t even there at times.

While “Epitome I” starts the album off with a wild ride, the music throughout the release does spin off into other directions, as well as becomes shorter then that nearly eight minute song, as well as dramatically longer. In a sense, the album feels like each track becomes a different layer or Hell, or perhaps even grief, or the stages reflecting succumbing to a nightmarish event. The latter strikes to be more common with this, as the song takes on a lighter, more reflective atmosphere thanks to slower pace and heavy music that has that atmosphere pushed through effects in the background, some haunting, depressing guitars, and simpler drums that enhance the eery, bass-driven atmosphere. And that’s what the rest of the album sounds like as well, not the reflective atmosphere, but that each track seems to be a stage of something.

Of all the tracks though, “Epitome IV” is easily the most interesting. The song itself is nearly twelve minutes long, and it really gives off a twisted, almost hallucinating atmosphere thanks to the way the guitars are performed in a manner that creates that nightmarish vibe, that “Epitome II” did with the slower paced music, but as if the chords were the right pitch and key, just being distorted, as if they were the equivilent of a reflection in a fun house mirror. It’s an interesting take, and much of the song is purely instrumental. The way the bass is performed, however, gives the song a slight groove as well that comes up similar to something Meshuggah will do. The song is challenging to listen to because of the varying tones and atmospheres going on, allowing the listener to change their perception of what the song is trying to give off with each track, which keeps the song rather interesting, though it does manage to keep some general vibes from start to finish. The lack of repetition also keeps the song sounding fresh to the listener, and gradual additions to the music, such as what sounds like demonic moaning near the end of the track, offer up enough subtle and gradual changes to keep the listener content throughout the entire near twelve minute performance.

The only drawback to the album is the repetitive manner in which the songs are performed. The concept for the recording is great, and the band keeps it consistent with the general concept and atmosphere from start to finish, and also allowing moments that give the listener a chance to perceive the songs in varying manners while the track is going on, but overall, not all the songs are that great. “Epitome V” sounds the same as “Epitome II” and even “Epitome III” at times, and it’s essentially the same music played on a Droning loop that isn’t all that impressive. The way the band adds onto these “loops”, however, is what makes them the somewhat impressive. Outside of that, 777 – Sect(s) doesn’t really have much of a bite to it, being a good album, but have a few elements for them that simply don’t work out for the album, or in the case of “Epitome V”, can seem like the song is going nowhere despite the music building the way it does.

In the long run, it’s a good album worth checking out, and a decent step towards a Drone element of the band, but there’s just nothing all that special about the release outside at least half the tracks of the album, four at the most. By the time your each “Epitome V”, you get the idea, and it really doesn’t offer much else then what you already heard, as well as doesn’t have any music that can quite compare to the atmospheres developed on “Epitome I”, “Epitome II” and “Epitome IV”. It’s worth sampling, but as far as a purchase goes, the release will either be a hit or miss, but even if it winds up being a hit, chances are good you’ll not really want to give it another listen anytime soon, especially if you do go back a second time shortly after that first time through.

01. Epitome I – 7:57
02. Epitome II – 6:51
03. Epitome III – 4:52
04. Epitome IV – 11:52
05. Epitome V – 6:23
06. Epitome VI – 7:31
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Blut Aus Nord (Band)
Blut Aus Nord (Logo)
Digital review copy of this release provided by Debemur Morti Productions.