Released: 2004, Candlelight Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
French black metallers Blut Aus Nord have just unleashed their latest offering, THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD and if there is any justice in the world, it will go down in history as a black metal masterpiece. All the necessary elements are here to appease the raw black metal fans. The music is cold, focuses on the decimation of religion, vocals are growled/shrieked but muted and buried way back in the mix. The production is better than most, but still not over-produced a la Dimmu Borgir. The addition of samples, keyboards and an over-abundance of instrumentals may keep some die-hards from fully embracing this CD but this is one of the best true black metal releases I have heard since Immortal’s SONS OF THE NORTHERN DARKNESS came out in 2002.
Devoid of emotion, the music on THE WORK THAT TRANSFORMS GOD is dark, bleak, cold and completely transcends the listener to another place. Despite its title, “End” actually begins the CD with two minutes of oh-so-sinister rumbling that perfectly captures the essence of where this CD is going to go. “Axis,” “The Howling of God” and “Inner Mental Cage” are some of the most naturally raw and evil sounding pieces of music I have ever heard with their ambient keyboards and deranged vocals. “Metamorphosis” is a slower tempo, while “The Supreme Abstract” follows with a traditional black metal sound. The drums are heavy on the snares and cymbals and the vocals sound like possessed demons seeping from your speakers. “Our Blessed Frozen Cells” borders on industrial with stark landscapes of metallic sounding “pinging” over a droning riff and sparse vocals. After three minutes, a lull hangs over the proceedings before a repetitive string of murderous melody kicks in at 4:15 and continues on for the duration of the track. “Density” is eighteen seconds of silence that leads directly into the album closer, “Procession of the Dead Clowns.” At nearly ten minutes in length, this track is a haunting instrumental dirge that never gets boring or tries one’s patience. Even though it is the same riff basically repeated over an over again, there is a guitar melody played over it that is positively enrapturing. Put on the headphones for this CD, but especially for “Procession of the Dead Clowns.” In a darkened room with only the sound of this music stimulating your brain, it is an experience that is simultaneously chilling and soothing. You BECOME a part of this music, not just an outside observer.
Blut Aus Nord is a new find for me thanks to the good people at Candlelight Records. THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD is a challenging but amazing piece of music that I have listened to over and over again. If only all reviews were this pleasant to write...
KILLER KUTS: “Axis,” “The Supreme Abstract,” “The Howling of God,” “Procession of the Dead Clowns”