The Cycle is Complete: Blut Aus Nord 777: Cosmosophy is here

image courtesy of metalkingdom.net

Three years ago I would never have believed that I would become as into the fringe elements of Black Metal as I have. I mean, what’s in a genre name or classification – right? Except of course there is always something there. And with Black Metal – the good stuff anyway – the name just sorta fits. No, not an all-African American band that plays metal like one co-worker thought, Black Metal at its best is more about the dark, liquid-obsidian terrors that lurk at the outposts of the human musical experience. And when discussing France’s Blut Aus Nord – quite possibly the most radically inventive band to fall under the banner of the genre (by choice or not) out there – Vindsal and crew have definitely attained something of a mastery of putting every shattered, hopeless and down right frightening atmosphere together into something that transcends any genre or even any inherently musical experience and gives us a sort of transcendental evocation that both grafts onto and extracts lifetimes of human philosophical arcana.

 

Note: I realize that a lot of people who write about Black Metal tend to over-ooze metaphor and hyperbole. The best answer for this is that this type of music, especially the truly rewarding and challenging stuff like Blut Aus Nord, appeals to those with a philosophical bent. The fastest (and perhaps most honest) answer for this is that many of us sit down to listen to this music high as kites and thus become over-exuberant and down right flowery about it. You know, flowery as in, “damn man, why’d you have to get all Mervyn Peake all of a sudden?”

Anyway…

The first volume of Nord’s 777 trilogy, 777: Sect(s) came out just about a year ago. To a degree Sects(s) is similar to the band’s 2003 MASTERPIECE The Work Which Transforms God in that 777 Sect(s) begins very fast and very heavy and then slowly unravels into yet another complex system of hammers and shadows. The pulse of the work is up and down, up and down, but in a very natural and dare I say it serpentine kind of way, the python of creativity that has become this group’s trademark coiling and uncoiling around a thematically consistant musical idea.

That idea bleeds into the second volume, 777: The Desanctification in a subtle way. There is no capriciousness here. Instead we watch as an abstract yet very identifiable element of intent pulls us through these is truly     

a journey in multiple parts, and if Sect(s) is the chaotic, often disorienting free fall into a terrifying alien landscape than 777: The Desanctification is the point at which the psychonaut’s adrenaline slows and they are able to begin to survey their new surroundings. The songs here are, on a whole, slower and more deliberate. They carry a sense of stalking or hunting at times, and a sense of revelation and despair at others. Neither of these are ‘daylight’ albums, however where part 1 was a more caustic assault by the darkness part 2 is the wonderment that might follow, if one were to survive.

And that leads us to part 3. Released yesterday, once again by the inimitable Debemur Morti record label, 777: Cosmosophy is, in my opinion after only two listens, the jewel in the proverbial crown here. If the others are about strife and revelation, the final chapter is all about transcendence. But not the bright, triumphant glow we usually associate with transcendence. Instead 777: Cosmosophy feels like the reluctant heir to an empire of darkness stepping forward and accepting their role, doning the robes of that darkness and setting the world around them aflame with…

What’d I say earlier, eh?

Let me stop my self-indulgent noodling here and just say I’ve posted a brilliant link below in hopes that if you’re reading this and you’re into Black Metal, or you’re just interested in something unlike anything you’ve ever heard before (unless you’re from one of the lower levels of hell that is) you’ll listen to this and then go out and give these guys your money. Their independent and daring, and THAT IS exactly the type of artists we need to continue to seek out and support in this age of piracy and free-for-alls.

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

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