"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Blut Aus Nord - "777 - Sect(s) " (CD)

Blut Aus Nord - "777 - Sect(s) " CD cover image

"777 - Sect(s) " track listing:

1. Epitome I
2. Epitome II
3. Epitome III
4. Epitome IV
5. Epitome V
6. Epitome VI

Reviewed by on April 7, 2011

"Blut Aus Nord envelops each track in otherworldly layers of dissonance, Lovecraftian-angled guitars, mystical keyboards, barbaric drums and dimly grim vocals."

France’s Blut Aus Nord is anything but a typical black metal group. Their creative fervor resulted in odd pairings of various electronic forms of music such as industrial, noise and dub with black metal. The group took all of this and wrapped it in blankets of bleak production. Few have created music of stranger eons. “777-Sect(s),” the first album in a trilogy, shows the avant-garde group combining aspects from throughout their career.

Blut Aus Nord recently reissued their 2001 effort “The Mystical Beast of Rebellion.” They made a good decision putting it out before “777-Sect(s),” because their newest recording revisits much of that savage, primal spirit. Blut Aus Nord has grown in leaps in bounds since '01, though, and “777-Sect(s)” reflects more than a necro sound. Here, the group recalls the atonal guitar work of “MoRT” and “Odinist - The Destruction of Reason by Illumination,” and the spacey atmosphere of “The Work Which Transforms God.” These are just a couple of examples. One could take a magnifying glass to “777-Sect(s)” and discovers aspects from every album.

Blut Aus Nord envelops each track in otherworldly layers of dissonance, Lovecraftian-angled guitars, mystical keyboards, barbaric drums and dim vocals. The “Epitome I” initiates the listener with an explosion of upfront drums. This may give the impression of a typical, blasting black metal album. However, the buzzing, alien guitar tones prove that is not the case.

“Epitome III,” and “Epitome V” follow similar paths, starting fast and then coming to a halt. During these slower moments, the group instills sideways guitar bends, haunting choir keys, ghostly moans, and a din of percussion. Near of the end of “Epitome III,” W.D. Feld inserts industrialized drums and what sounds like a synthetic gong.

Just like the distorted drum machine of Norway’s Mysticum, the electric percussion on “777-Sect(s)” gives the album a macabre danceable quality. The album thrives on its varied percussion. The drums create a thunderous rumble during fast moments, and add to the multiple layers formed through a menagerie of instruments and tracking during the slower tempos. The short-but-steady beats in a continual motion, which may have a mesmerizing effect upon the listener, especially during ethereal moments such as the one that brings the album to its end.

One never really knows what to expect from Blut Aus Nord. Those who reveled in the rawness of early recordings surely lost interest in the group’s later experiments and vice versa. “777-Sect(s)” shows the band compiling ideas from all periods of their career; therefore, it should appeal to fans of all their musical phases. Blut Aus Nord didn’t help construct France’s black metal scene or become internationally recognized by being conventional. Don’t expect them to change anytime soon.

Highs: "777-Sect(s)" contains rich ambiance.

Lows: This album and every Blut Aus Nord album may prove too strange for some listeners.

Bottom line: “777-Sect(s)” is a necessity for fans of experimental black metal.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)