Debemur Morti Productions
February 8th, 2011
Release length: 1:18:27
One thing is for certain with this release: It’s meant to be atmospheric. There is no denying that Blut Aus Nord had taken the Black Metal style into a whole other direction compared to many of the melancholic bands at that time. While the more emotional-based style isn’t anything too new, the material here has enough atmosphere to really toy with the listeners emotions. The sound of the recording is often quite menacing, and on some tracks, such as “The Fall: Chapter II”, the music just sounds nightmarish, able to create a state of paranoia in the listener against Hellish sounding guitar chords that sound like the Devil’s personal orchestra.
Much of the material on The Mystical beast of Rebellion is a fast paced Black Metal, along the lines of what many call an expression of third wave Black Metal. While not blast beats, the music typically stays at the same pace throughout, except for “The Fall: Chapter V” which finds the music going at a much slower pace then the robotic tempo laid out by the drums. The drumming never really changes much, but just the fact that they manage to keep that exact same beat without ever going off pace is simply astounding at times and is often more impressive then the haunting guitar work that creates the album’s signature atmospheres. Of course, this does get a little repetitive as time goes through, but the guitars really make up for it and keep the songs, and the drumming interesting. All of this is aided by the rather raw production quality of the recording, leaving the music to sound a little more jumbled, which meshes nicely with some of the ambient sections that are meant to bridge some chapters of the album along, like with “The Fall: Chapter II” and “The Fall: Chapter III”, as well as “The Fall: Chapter IV” with “The Fall: Chapter IV”. However, in the instance of “The Fall: Chapter IV”, that ambience can be heard slightly in the background of the song, which happens to take the material in a much slower direction.
In addition to the raw qualities making the album be more fluid, the vocals also appear further in the back, which is a nice touch. In the end, they sound more like actual wailing then just a vocalist in a Black Metal band, so it suits the atmosphere of the recording nicely. Of course, “The Fall: Chapter V” again breaks the mold. Due to the slower nature, the vocals are much louder and more in front of the music, not drowned out and in the background. The voice here seems to change between a somewhat higher pitched gutteral, and traditional Black Metal rhaspy vocals. This song is interesting for it’s crushing atmosphere, but unfortunately that is very limited, and the more eclectic sound the guitars give off don’t help much, leaving this track to feel a little weak in comparison, as well as drug out. “The Fall: Chapter VI” is also a little drug out, including both that same faster tempo and eventually shifting down to the previous song’s more ominsous slow tempo, and for the most part it’s enjoyable, but it just feels overdone at that point, especially with the long gap of silence that follows with nothing hidden by it.
The 2011 reissue through Debemur Morti Productions includes a bonus second disc with a newly recorded set of chapters for this album. These songs, all “The Fall: Chapter 7” but with additional sevens to represent the next part of that chapter, sound rather close to the original songs, though are clearly a little more digital. The tracks pick up nicely where “The Fall: Chapter VI” picks up, retaining the same slower pace, but brings in a creepier atmosphere then a crushing or intimidating one that “The Fall: Chapter V” and the end of “The Fall: Chapter VI” set up, though “The Fall: Chapter 7.7” does a nice job at using that creepy atmosphere from the guitar and slower pace to make the song interesting enough to hold the listener’s attention moreso for the first five minutes then the other two songs on the initial first disc. After that, the songs just feels like it’s dragging on. “The Fall: Chapter 7.77” is meerly nine and a half minutes of repetitive yet not-quite-Droning music that gets boring after a short time, and “The Fall: Chapter 7.777” isn’t anything all that fantastic either, sticking to same principles as the track before it, but having a more eclectic feel, and including vocals in the background like the earlier tracks on the initial full-length. These make nice companion pieces that further the Hellish concept of the album, but compared to the original material, they are just not all that special.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the album, though the final tracks don’t quite seem to capture what the album is going for. Most of the music stays at the same constant pace, and when it slows down, yeah, there is a shift in atmosphere that feels like Hell at times, but in the end they feel drawn out. The bonus disc in the 2011 reissue makes a nice additional touch, adding about thirty five minutes of music to the mix, but for the most part it’s nothing all that special and comes off more as a failed Drone attempt then anything. But, if you want to pick one up and aren’t picky, the reissue is definitely worth a listen as it does have one new song that is rather worth checking out. It’s nice to see this effort actually be reissued in the first place, as it really is a nice piece of Black Metal that does more then simply praise Satan in a melancholic tone, and that it can play with the listener’s emotions the way it does on some tracks really shows the talent that the band possesses. Now is the time to add this one to your collection if you’ve been eyeing it up and couldn’t come across it for a reasonable price, or just want to check out something that, at it’s time, was rather unique, and even to this day stands at the top of a movement that it helped to aid in strength.
01. The Fall: Chapter I – 6:39
02. The Fall: Chapter II – 7:43
03. The Fall: Chapter III – 3:38
04. The Fall: Chapter IV – 6:51
05. The Fall: Chapter V – 6:01
06. The Fall: Chapter VI – 10:23
2011 Reissue Bonus Disc
|Overall Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Debemur Morti Productions.