Blut Aus Nord - _Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity_
(Candlelight, 2005)
by: T. DePalma (7 out of 10)
My mind fades into the image of a lonely child singing inside a church; a small boy, only a silhouette. His song echoes from wall to wall, vibrating towards the uncovered arch of a single window where there surges a brilliant light from outside the magnificent confines of the sanctuary. Suddenly, his song ends, vanishing with the light, and the window is empty. It's as if a pall was thrown upon the entire sky.

My particular vision aside, it takes less than fifty seconds to know how remarkably adept this band is in altering their temperament in such immaculate and simple delivery. Like most experimental forays, _Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity_ gives a glimpse of the band's capability outside of usual conceptions, but doesn't particularly signal any one direction for the future.

This release consists of five instrumental tracks that were intended for a split with The Axis of Perdition, which never materialized. Composed largely of guitar and synthesizer, these songs remain mostly in mid-tempo, retaining the cavernous distortion and contorted six string technique of previous work. However, the interesting tremolo bending of guitar chords, which gave their last two albums such punctuation, is absent here; it is replaced by ambient, multi-effects passages and faintly Godflesh-esque machine doom. No blast beats and no vocals, only some brief spoken word and unintelligent meditations, as is the case with songs "Level 1" and “Level 3". Accentuating their music with a religious tone appears faddish, but their use of eastern (mock eastern?) prayers in place of actual vocals is very effective and, I suppose, in keeping with the band's vague mysticism and visual aesthetic.

There is one annoying snag in the transition, and that is the third track, "Level 2", composed of looped drum beats with an up tempo, hip bass line repeating for seven minutes. Decent, but a throwaway piece that is in no way distinguished by itself. A bland shock -- like celebrity sex videos -- it's only interesting if you're familiar with who is doing it, then it passes. Here Blut Aus Nord seem too impressed by themselves.

_The Work Which Transforms God_ put Blut Aus Nord on the path toward ridding the collective rules of black metal. With this release, they've nearly left the metal domain altogether -- a logical but larger step. While more concentration on expanding the electronic portion of their sound seemed obvious afterwards, it has come with modifying a large portion of what also made their former album so intriguing, testing the following they have gained, but more importantly their own limitations; for this sounds like less of an attempt to transform years of musical direction than it does to free oneself of the prison that genre can become.


(article published 17/5/2005)

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