Blut Aus Nord: 777 – The Desanctification

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Blut Aus Nord: 777 – The Desanctification
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Blut Aus Nord: 777 - The Desanctification
Black Metal
Debemur Morti Productions
November 15th, 2011
Release length: 43:49
Website
2011 has been a busy year for Blut Aus Nord and the band’s name. This faceless Black Metal group has put out a number of releases over the years, leading to their signing with Debemur Morti Productions, the reissue of their third full-length album The Mystical Beast of Rebellion, as well as the 777 – Sect(s), the first of a conceptual mini-series. Both of these efforts found raving reviews throughout the internet. Roughly several months later, Blut Aus Nord returns once more to close out 2011 with another full release, the second part of the “777” trilogy titled 777 – The Desanctification. With this French Black Metal act on the lips of nearly every fan of Black Metal at this point, does this effort stand out, or does it come through rushed to capitalize on the sudden underground surge of popularity?

777 – The Desanctification finds the audio quality to be a little more on the higher budget side of things, which ends up actually being a bit of a downfall for this specific release and it’s sound. The guitars don’t quite have that sharper distortion to them that one might expect of a Black Metal effort, instead coming through cleaner and with a bit of twanging sound that actually gives it more of a Groove Metal sound overall. You can even pick up on the style a little bit in “Epitome VIII” around the halfway mark prior to and during the guitar solo. However, the bass is what really stands out of the two string instruments, having a very dominant volume and deeper sound that really helps to back up the guitars thanks to a far richer sound, adding the edge the music needs. The drums have a slight click to them to the point where they feel natural and not really altered outside of having a deeper sound to them. The snares come off tight and loud as well with a slight echo effect on them, but it doesn’t really do much to help out considering the that the additional tighter sound causes them to sound cut off at times, as if mechanical. The cymbols, however, are pretty strong, have a decent volume to them that doesn’t drown anything else out, and work well with the music to make it rich and fill up the sound. There also is a vocal performance, though most of the time you’ll forget this contribution to the effort exists. This is handled in a rhaspy, back of the throat stern approach similar to early second wave Black Metal acts, and it does work for what the band is trying to do, which is work within the atmosphere more then the Black Metal.

Much like with 777 – Sect(s), the album really struggles to weave a Black Metal sound with a straight Ambience and Atmospheric Black Metal approach. This can be both good and bad for this release since the atmosphere is really where the band puts their main focus. “Epitome VII” does sweep the listener up nicely right from the start, having a darker atmospheric tone to it that seems to rely a lot on additional keyboard elements to work along with the bet of the song that can find any listener tapping their foot along to the beat at the very least. The grim sound of the track works well, but it also lacks enough decent transitions to keep the whole thing entertaining, especially after the four minute mark when the band starts to recycle material from earlier on to segway into music that is a little more refreshing. The chaotic sounding ending that comes in against the vocals also seems to last too long despite working with the growing richness of the song, as well as each new segment of music that comes into play through the song. Overall, this track offers some nice highlights of what’s to come, but also showcases what easily becomes one of the album’s biggest downfalls.

Another one of the problems that plagued “Epitome VII” was the lack of a richer, heavier sound. This track started off a little open sounding, and gradually grew into that harder hitting sound at certain passages of the track. “Epitome VIII,” however, shows off what that deeper sound can do for a song. Despite some of it’s chaotic, more Groove-oriented riffs that can feel weaker at times, the song really hits with a heavy, dismal atmosphere, and continues to build from there instead. The formula is about the same, the music will back off at times then suddenly get richer, such as introducing wing effects that sound like high pitched demonic or ghostly wails in the background, eventually fading to a more uplifting intepretation of a Depressive Black Metal sound in the guitar solo that reverts back to a lighter audio foundation before building back up into a rich, heavy, crushing sound once more. Luckily that groove doesn’t appear on all the songs, and as the release goes on, 777 – The Desanctification does get better. “Epitome X,” for example, makes for a solic Atmospheric Black Metal experience full of depressive overtones and just dark, grim atmospheres that are well worth experiencing. The additional vocals really pull it together, and even help with some of the transitions by masking any flaws or knee-jerk shifts that come though. For the seven minutes and twenty two seconds the song lasts, you can’t help but find something to appreciate from start to finish with everything working so well with one another.

The rest of the release isn’t the most stand out material, but it’s still decent. Each track has a solid sound to it with an alright atmosphere that, like previous songs, grows stronger then weaker throughout the release. “Epitome XII” doesn’t quite do that, and it remains consistant from start to finish, but at the same time it starts off strong and sticks with it. The music is just great and really sets up a dark atmosphere that you can really get behind. “Epitome XIII” doesn’t fair too well though. The song’s slower pace gives it more of a Doom Metal sound that even brings in some guttural vocals to help the atmosphere. The crushing, despair ridden environment of the song does a great job at leaving the listener crippled, but eventually it does start wearing a little thin since there’s not really much driving it along other than that atmosphere. But, come the end of the song, it comes full circle and fades back into the earlier synth-driven atmosphere of “Epitome VII” for a very brief time.

777 – The Desanctification definitely feels like a stronger effort from the band’s first entry to the trilogy, and fans of Blut Aus Nord already will no doubt buy this regardless of the review, or it’s faults. The atmospheres captured here vary as much as the building of material in the seven songs of the album. Some track honestly are far more enjoyable then others, and there are times where you really will sit back and enjoy the crushing, despairing, damning sound that the group brings with them to this release, but all the while you’ll wish they went with a rawer quality, and a sharper guitar distortion among other physical complaints. 777 – The Desanctification also doesn’t feel rushed, so you have to give the band credit for that considering the gap between releases, but you can tell that the music does have some filler moments at times, and had the band spent a little more time writing the material, perhaps these seven songs would have been a lot stronger then they are. If you enjoy the group’s more recent efforts, then there’s no reason to not at least sample what Blut Aus Nord presents on this release.

01. Epitome VII – 8:30
02. Epitome VIII – 6L28
03. Epitome IX – 2:08
04. Epitome X – 7:22
05. Epitome XI – 6:15
06. Epitome XII – 5:57
07. Epitome XIII – 7:08
Overall Score: 7/10
Blut Aus Nord (Band)
Blut Aus Nord (Logo)Digital review copy of this release provided by Debemur Morti Productions.