Rating:
8.2
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue With The Stars
23 February 2009


01. Acceptance (Aske)
02. Disciple's Libration (Lost In The Nine Worlds)
03. The Cosmic Echoes Of Non-Matter (Immaterial Voices Of The Fathers)
04. Translucent Body Of Air (Sutta Anapanasati)
05. The Formless Sphere (Beyond The Reason)
06. ...The Meditant (Dialogue With The Stars)
07. The Alcove Of Angels (Vipassana)
08. Antithesis Of The Flesh (...And Then Arises A New Essence)
09. Elevation


If you haven't heard of Blut Aus Nord, you're either an Amish person who doesn't use the internet, or you're a goddamn poser who listens to Dimmu Borgir and thinks they are the best black metal band around. I jest, of course, but if you really are into black metal, you owe it to yourself to check out these Frenchies, who happen to be one of the most intriguing bands from the mentioned genre nowadays. This is mostly due to their experimental/industrial releases, a la The Work Which Transforms God or their latest, not yet complete Sects 777 trilogy. However, you'll find that these guys are just as capable of releasing top-notch quality material that falls more into the spectrum of "conventional" rather than genre-breaking, and this album damn well proves it.

Even though I dubbed Memoria Vetusta II "conventional", this happens to be a very relative term, which Blut Aus Nord enjoys bending. Looking at most black metal, one can easily feel the hateful, negative vibe presented by the music. Memoria Vetusta II, on the other hand, forgoes this approach, choosing instead the width of open skies, the infinity of space and mystery of distant stars as a source of inspiration. Indeed, the sensation of floating through the vast blackness of space or lifting off towards the skies while the sun sets is omnipresent here. Should you decide to listen to this the way it was probably intended to, i.e. while lying in a meadow, staring into the setting sun, you might just feel your consciousness leaving your earthly shell, floating upwards towards the great unknown... And should you decide to listen to it whilst on strong drugs, I can only imagine the sensation.

Ah, but listen to me going on like a kid who just had his first joint. I'm sure you all love hearing about my out-of-body experiences, but focus must be regained. So, how do these three faceless phantoms manage to help you transcend into the great beyond? Through a fairly typical playing style, consisting of blast-beats, lots of tremolo picking, frequently used wall-of-sound technique, constant shifts from full-on instrumental assaults to more reduced, more mellow moments, programmed drums that fit into the overall sound better than any human could and a noticeably industrial-esque guitar tuning, not that different from the one used in The Work Which Transforms God. While it's not by any means something spectacular or never before heard, it does put a considerable amount of riff-shriek-repeat formula bands to shame.

Bottom line, the only way in which the album disappoints is maybe that it isn't pushing boundaries which Blut Aus Nord are particularly adept at doing, or that it doesn't exactly manage to keep you blown away 100% of the time, as it does have some weaker moments which slightly dampen the brilliance of others. Nonetheless, Memoria Vetusta II remains a damn strong release and a textbook example of how quality black metal should sound like.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Blut Aus Nord
Album: Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue With The Stars


 


written by Slayer666 | 08.10.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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The Galactican - 10.10.2011 at 07:55  
Love this band and celebrate their entire catalog, though this one is my absolute favorite. There are utterly epic melodies throughout the record that don't so much stylistically appear on anything else they've released. The Formless Sphere is one of the best damn songs ever.
Mr. Doctor - 10.10.2011 at 16:18  
I would never have thought that I will say this: This is the first time I think you overrated the album.
A solid melodic black metal album for sure. But the originality should be left behind at 6-7 level at most. But yeah, solid album... Falls flat compared to BAN's innovative albums but it can kick a lot of ass against all the other black metal bands around in which case the 8 is justified.
Slayer666 - 11.10.2011 at 12:40  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 10.10.2011 at 16:18

I would never have thought that I will say this: This is the first time I think you overrated the album.
A solid melodic black metal album for sure. But the originality should be left behind at 6-7 level at most. But yeah, solid album... Falls flat compared to BAN's innovative albums but it can kick a lot of ass against all the other black metal bands around in which case the 8 is justified.


To be completely honest, I never really understood the mega-hype behind their experimental works. It's good, but how everyone gets the idea that it's somehow better than everything else is beyond me. It's not like they're perfectly unique in that style, either.

When someone says industrial black, the first thing that pops into my mind are Aborym and Mysticum, hardly BaN.
!J.O.O.E.! - 11.10.2011 at 12:59  
Written by Slayer666 on 11.10.2011 at 12:40


To be completely honest, I never really understood the mega-hype behind their experimental works. It's good, but how everyone gets the idea that it's somehow better than everything else is beyond me. It's not like they're perfectly unique in that style, either.

When someone says industrial black, the first thing that pops into my mind are Aborym and Mysticum, hardly BaN.

That's because Blut aus Nord aren't really industrial black metal most of the time, aside from the drum machine, and their style changes too drastically. They either play a form of melodic black metal, like on this album and pre-The Work, which is extremely competent but ultimately been done before, or they play, in my opinion, a virtually totally unique form of avant-garde industrial metal. Take the industrial tracks off The Work, Thematic and everything on MoRT and that's where their talent lays, not least because they're the only band doing that style (find me more and you get a cookie). The style seen on Aborym (incredibly boring stuff) and Mysticum (one decent album) gets done all the time, although it could be compared to the 777 stuff (though I'd take 777 naturally as it's more expansive and chaotic).
Mr. Doctor - 11.10.2011 at 15:55  
Written by Slayer666 on 11.10.2011 at 12:40
When someone says industrial black, the first thing that pops into my mind are Aborym and Mysticum, hardly BaN.


Same as Joe:
- I hardly see their experimental works as industrial black metal... Just a different kind of industrial metal.
- Would love to know more bands that sound like them. (I would give you TWO cookies)
- The music they make otherwise is good indeed but original? hell no.
!J.O.O.E.! - 11.10.2011 at 16:29  
Damn you. I only have one cookie left...
Mr. Doctor - 11.10.2011 at 17:23  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 11.10.2011 at 16:29

Damn you. I only have one cookie left...


I'll send you some asap so you can buy some recommendations for good industrial.
Slayer666 - 12.10.2011 at 11:03  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 11.10.2011 at 15:55

(I would give you TWO cookies)


Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 11.10.2011 at 12:59

(find me more and you get a cookie)


*in a heavily British accent*
Take your cookies and put them up your bums, lads.

Although, you both make a good point. My problem is that I'm not quite impressed by their unique style as mostly everyone else seems to be. I can even say that I enjoy their conventional work even more than the innovative one these days. Maybe I'll gain more appreciation for it in time.
Mr. Doctor - 12.10.2011 at 12:31  
Written by Slayer666 on 12.10.2011 at 11:03

My problem is that I'm not quite impressed by their unique style as mostly everyone else seems to be.


That is off course a completely valid point of view. You get a cookie for it.
Ozman - 12.10.2011 at 12:34  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 12.10.2011 at 12:31

Written by Slayer666 on 12.10.2011 at 11:03

My problem is that I'm not quite impressed by their unique style as mostly everyone else seems to be.


That is off course a completely valid point of view. You get a cookie for it.


But it doesn't change the fact that giving an 8 for originality to this album is way too high. Even though he prefers this style to BaN's other one fact remains the style on this one is totally unoriginal
Mr. Doctor - 12.10.2011 at 12:37  
Written by Ozman on 12.10.2011 at 12:34

But it doesn't change the fact that giving an 8 for originality to this album is way too high. Even though he prefers this style to BaN's other one fact remains the style on this one is totally unoriginal


Yeah I previously wrote about the originality part and still stand by it regardless of how good itthe album is or not.
InnerSelf - 01.11.2011 at 20:19  
If it is this good I really don't care about the originality. yes it has all the elements from the Melodic Black sub-genre but it is done in the BaN way which is D'best
Mr. Doctor - 09.11.2011 at 15:23  
Written by InnerSelf on 01.11.2011 at 20:19

If it is this good I really don't care about the originality.


Well, it's not like I care about originality either, but I like to see and read accurate stuff and that originality rating is totally off, that is all.
InnerSelf - 09.11.2011 at 19:39  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 09.11.2011 at 15:23

Written by InnerSelf on 01.11.2011 at 20:19

If it is this good I really don't care about the originality.


Well, it's not like I care about originality either, but I like to see and read accurate stuff and that originality rating is totally off, that is all.


I totally get what you're talking about, and the originality factor should be pointed out and taken into consideration in a review. I was just in the middle of a BaN crush when I posted that
Troy Killjoy - 09.11.2011 at 19:52  
Ratings-wise sure the originality should be lower...although technically when does an album ever really come along that's original? I'd say out of the 200+ albums I've heard this year, maybe a dozen - or fewer - actually felt original within the entire metal spectrum. And that's not to say they're original. They took influence from something.

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