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

Once in a while I find myself pleasantly surprised by a Black-Metal release, it happened last year with Natchmystium’s “Assassins” and it occurred just recently with “Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With The Stars” by France’s Blut Aus Nord. As a matter of fact, there are some similarities between the two releases as both share a common predisposition to avoid clich├ęs by moulding elements of other genres, the like of which you wouldn’t image you’d hear on such a record, into a Black-Metal framework.
In the case of Blut Aus Nord, rather than following the path explored on their previous work “Odinist: The Destruction of Reason by Illumination”, which was ingrained in a more traditional and rudimentary Black-Metal style, the French have crafted a record of greater scope and immense grandeur.
Some reviews suggest that it’s a return to the epic melodies of their early years, I’m not sure whether that’s true or false since I’m not familiar with the first releases of Blut Aus Nord, though one thing is unquestionable this supposedly rediscovered sense of dynamics and contrast is what really makes “Memoria Vetusta II” such a thrilling listen and what sets Blut Aus Nord above many of their peers.
The guitar work of vocalist Vindsval is definitely the most defining aspect of Blut Aus Nord intelligent and invigorating songs, constantly displaying gracious melodies and intricate textures without any bounds to a single or strict style. There’re traits of Psychedelic, Progressive and Post-Rock flowing naturally and incredibly well among his rawer, apocalyptic and Black-tinged playing, nourishing the song structures with a rich, epic and emotional warmth.
It would pretty pointless to single out any specific theme as all of them display remarkable qualities and characteristics, yet just listen to the instrumental “Elevation (The Dawn Of The Gods)” and tell if that isn’t their own version of Pink Floyd’s “When You’re In”. Absolutely phenomenal.

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