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3.90 | 10 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2011

Filed under Black Metal


1. Epitome I (7:57)
2. Epitome II (6:51)
3. Epitome III (4:52)
4. Epitome IV (11:52)
5. Epitome V (6:23)
6. Epitome VI (7:31)

Total Time 45:26


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About this release

Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Release date: April 18th, 2011

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BLUT AUS NORD 777 - SECT(S) reviews

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Since 'The Work that Transformed God', Blut Aus Nord have been known for posessing a unique black metal style that bend the properties of reality. However, with '777 - Sect(s)', I'm lead to believe that they don't just want to disconnect us from our reality. In fact, after listening to this, I'm starting to speculate that the elusive Vindsval has schizophrenia.

All the songs in this 777 series begin with the prefix "Epitome". The first of these begins without any bullshit intro and simply dives head first into chaos. The music is very fast paced, and the riffing style makes it sound chaotic. 1:50 marks a slow down point while still maintaining dissonant guitar sounds. It breaks back into the fast paced chaos at 3:55, but different music is played than before the slow break. The "schizophrenia" feel really makes itself well known as the riffs sound like the listener's sanity spiraling down the drain. Eventually, it all stops leaving a very creepy industrial/dark ambient outro.

The second song starts out dissonant sounding chords leading into a slower song. Keyboards add layers of atmosphere already constructed by the guitars. The first half of the song doesn't offer a lot of variation. The dissonant chords give way to a series of lead power chords on guitar. Then, there's a break in the rhythm. This is repeated twice. 4:28 introduces some new notes though that lead into something of a slow guitar solo/lead that plays through the rest of the song. More calm sounding than the first song, but decent all the same. It's good to see that BAN still play the beautiful melodic sounds on guitar that they've been known for.

"Epitome III" is shorter and faster, but is different sounding than the insane sounding first song. The atmosphere is a little less on the schizophrenic side, but there's keyboards in certain parts the music that make it sound like some collage of distorted church music. There's a false end at 3:10 to give way to a slower, creepier tone portrayed by the keyboards and dissonant guitars. The song goes by really fast at such a short length.

The fourth song is the longest one just short of 12 minutes. It's also another slower song. There's dissonant chords and keyboards, but there's vocals that sound like they're being played backwards to reinforce the schizophrenic feel of the music again. 2:02 introduces some melody into the guitar work, but it doesn't last very long. However, it does come back after another series of backwards vocals. After it ends this time, new music is introduced with more dissonant chord structures. Another pause around the 6 minute mark signals another change in the music featuring dissonant guitar work without accompaniment from drums, bass, keys, or vox. About a minute later, a faster section is started with the drums breaking out in blast-beats again. The vocals no longer sound like they're being played backwards. The music finally returns to the slow pace a minute and a half later. Different music is played than other parts of the song. The next time the vocals come in, they are in the form of distorted howling like some unholy choir. Melody is very scarce in this song, making it one of the best examples of the schizophrenic style that Blut Aus Nord seems to be emphasizing in this album.

We return again to fast paced music with "Epitome V". There are parts where the drumming slows down while the guitars continue in their dissonant tremolo riffing. Eventually, this is furthered around the 2 minute mark. The guitars finally do slow down to fit the drums to prepare for a lead. The slow dissonance continues until the music finally speeds up again at the 5:30 mark. You ought to know what it's like by now: reality bending, dissonant, warped, and of course schizophrenic.

And of course, the even numbered songs would be the slower paced ones. Such is the case of the final song. This song has more melody than the other ones here making it a fitting closer to this album by giving it a feel of catharsis (reaching the epitome if you will). The dissonance is still going on underneath the melodic guitar and later the keyboards as well. There are no vocal sounds in this song at all. As teh song goes on, the layers of instrumentation dissipate as the song (and the album) reach the end seemingly slowing down the music even more before finally ending.

Blut Aus Nord are one of those bands that have to try hard to disappoint me. '777 - Sect(s)' is an excellent addition to their legacy. But apparently, they aren't done yet. Two more 777 albums are coming out with even more glorious Epitomes. If 'Sect(s)' was any indication, those albums should be glorious as well.
For a band as established and well-known as Blut Aus Nord, it may come a bit surprising to some that they're still consistently releasing new material and expanding upon their unique black metal sound with each succeeding effort. 777 - Sect(s) is their eighth full-length studio album, and their first in an upcoming three-part series. Though there is currently little information about the following two albums, the current due dates are in September and November of 2011. 777 - Sect(s) is a promising beginning to the trilogy, and sets high expectations for the future works of Blut Aus Nord. Though I wouldn't venture to say that this is a perfect album, it's a chilling work of art that may be the band's finest output as of yet.

Blut Aus Nord is known for playing twisted and cacophonous experimental black metal, so in that regard not much has changed since 2001's The Mystical Beast of Rebellion. There are still plenty of dissonant riffs and atonal countermelodies that play a major part in the music here. A few more melodic influences have snuck in here, though - there are a few emotional leads that set up some excellent contrast to the chaotic majority of the album. A few atmospheric keyboard sections and industrial influences are also scattered throughout 777 - Sect(s). The production took a little bit of time for me to warm up to - the drums sound a bit 'triggered' and the guitar often dominates the mix, but I've grown to enjoy the sound more after repeated spins.

777 - Sect(s) isn't a breathtaking masterpiece in my opinion, but it's an adventurous and (more often than not) extremely successful effort. I'm looking forward for what Blut Aus Nord has in the works next; I can see the rest of this trilogy really exceeding my expectations. If you like your black metal with atonality and dissonance, but still enjoy a nice melody every now and again, this is one to surely check out. 3.5 stars are well deserved.
Conor Fynes
'777 - Sect(s)' - Blut Aus Nord (8/10)

There's no questioning the matter that French black metal trio Blut Aus Nord are quite an ambitious act. From the primitive sounds of black metal, the band has crafted a sound through dark experimentation that they can largely call their own; taking a hint from both industrial and neoclassical styles. In lieu of the band's great ambition and motivation to get music out, 2011 will see the tentative release of three Blut Aus Nord albums, the first of which being '777 - Sect(s)'. Although there is little known to the public about this '777' trilogy thus far, 'Sects' opens this musical series on a very promising note.

As is quite typical for black metal, the sound on '777 - Sects' is very dark. This sense and feeling of darkness ranges from the melancholic, to downright malefic, as Blut Aus Nord takes their music through a variety of dynamic changes and shifts in tone. Sharing a core black metal sound with fellow French compatriots Deathspell Omega, the band here makes the heavier black metal aspect of their sound incredibly technical at times, reliant on rapidfire bursts of dissonance. However, what sets Blut Aus Nord apart is their lengthy pursuits into long, minimalistic and dirgesque passages. For longer periods than some black metal fans may be comfortable with, Blut Aus Nord will take the heaviness and speed down a notch to something that could even be considered 'mellow' by black metal standards, although the overbearing sense of darkness runs deep. If Blut Aus Nord knows anything, they know how to keep an intense feeling going throughout an entire piece, regardless of the changes in dynamic.

Although the band seems to have mastered their post-metal leanings with the success of these extended instrumental passages in mind, the heavier moments can sometimes feel a little overcooked, being incredibly visceral and impressive, but simultaneously leaving the listener with somewhat less to grab onto than what would have been perfect for this. That being said, 'Sects' has a technicality to it that is incredibly rare for a genre of music not well regarded for the finer aspects of musicianship. Even in the less complex moments of the music, the band's attention to particular guitar tones is masterful, and showcases the composition in the darkly aesthetic way they were intended to.

Although the year has already seen some great black metal records come out, 'Sects' manages to compete with the best of them, and while not all of the musical ideas here seek to capture the imagination, Blut Aus Nord concocts a work that both stands as a brilliant work of avant-garde black metal, as well as a promising overture to forthcoming albums by this band.
As a fellow of mine said lately, it’s not every day you come across this popular and hyped bands that keep releasing new material constantly whilst still retaining the quality of the music. The odd path that Blut Aus Nord chose on The Mystical Beast of Rebellion - and since then has evolved it through a plethora of other albums - is still present on their latest offering 777 - Sect(s), meaning that the band sounds still as convulsing and twisted as before.

Those familiar with this French group’s earlier efforts know what to expect, indeed: mechanical, capricious black metal that mostly relies on dissonant chords yet, at times, realizes to feed the listener with a bit of tasteful melody. On 777 - Sect(s), it mostly happens on the rather slow-tempo ”Epitome 02” that gets only more epic towards the end with its lead guitar melodies, and on the closer ”Epitome 06” that belongs to the same category of fully welcome breathing moments amidst all the cacophonic and twisted blasting that the album otherwise brings forth.

And what’s best about the other tracks, they actually are real growers instead of unnecessarily meandering artistic nonsense. It does take a couple of spins, but by now the ingenious riffs are comprehended to the extent that the music sounds almost catchy, and that’s a term you often don’t see connected to the repulsive monster named Blut Aus Nord. The centerpiece ”Epitome 04” is the truest example of a song that first might seem to revolve around not-that-exquisite riffs but after a few listens opens up to goosebumps inducing beauty. Of all the five tracks, ”Epitome 05” is the only one that slightly pales in the shadow of the others but I would still regard it as an important part of the whole.

While What Once Was... Liber I was not so mindblowing experience, I’m admittedly really impressed by 777 - Sect(s) on which almost all the previous glitches of a Blut Aus Nord record have been fixed. Most importantly, the material is consistently on high level without any filler material, and it all lasts for a fitting and endurable 46 minutes. Four stars, if not more, are surely deserved here, and yours truly is now wholeheartedly looking forward to hearing the next two chapters of this well-begun trilogy.

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