Blut Aus Nord - _777 - The Desanctification_
(Debemur Morti Productions, 2011)
by: Dan Lake (8 out of 10)
Right now, as of this very moment (being, I suppose, the very moment you started reading this), I'm putting the entire French black metal scene on notice. That's right, all y'all between the Pyrenees and the planet's prime beer country, from the Mediterranean to the English Channel, from Calais to Nice... shit, I'm even looking at you, Corsica, don't even try to make out like you're more pasta than parfait. I'm calling you out. The Norwegians vomited out their sincerest clergy-carving misanthropy, the Poles caked it with a dirty Soviet bloc death aesthetic, the Brits reclaimed it for their own jagged, rusty machine (set on Necro Cycle), and some Yankee Doodle blowhards bastardized it with their technical melodic hoo-ha, so what's your angle?

You pansy Pinot pushers go and make a fucking Monet out of it. Deathspell Omega broke ranks to bring artful dynamics to their swirling croak-fest; Spektr splooge haunted house sample noise over their start-stop nonsense; Alcest jam contentedly as if joy were a valid emotion; and I'm pretty sure Peste Noire think the whole damn thing's a game. Seriously, if your gauntlet spikes don't hamper your ability to play your instrument, they're not nearly long enough. Experimentation is -not- punk as fuck. If oddball violence is your thing, then... well, then you're a lot like me and you'll adore all of the above.

Blut Aus Nord is another major offender in the plot to spur on black metal progress. While early blasphemies reliably transplanted the northern blood into fine wine territory, a turn of century portended the band's turning a creative corner with the distended wrong-note melodies on _The Beast of Mystical Rebellion_ and _The Work Which Transforms God_. Plunge forward to the staggering industrialisms of _MoRT_ and sky-torching leads of _Dialogue with the Stars_ and we're clearly not dealing with commoners in corpse paint. Ambition runs deep and hot through these highly un-Scandinavian veins, nowhere more so than the projected 777 trilogy, which at this point consists of _Sect(s)_ and our current subject, _The Desanctification_.

CoC colleague Aaron McKay had an unflattering opinion of _Sect(s)_, just as many others will of _The Desanctification_, which might be described as abstract expressionist black-inspired nihilistic dance rock. Hopefully that phrase will never catch on, though, since it's kind of retarded. Instead, let's say that most of these seven "Epitomes" sound like _Pure_-era Godflesh hailing the sepulchral darkness. Simple, brash tempos bristle with percussive detail and groovy syncopation. Guitar tones buzz like a hive of hyper-intelligent bees sounding out alien harmonies. Vocals never achieve clarity, but grumble, sigh, and groan in the cold spaces between the guitars' romantic melodies and inhuman dissonance. We metal journalists all spout off about the latest brutal release being world's-end music, but _The Desanctification_ situates itself several decades post-apocalypse, when civilization's rotted structures are as common as decayed teeth and the last wretched survivors have simply accepted the wasteland as home.

Black metal is dead. Vive la révolution.


(article published 8/12/2011)

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