BLUT AUS NORD — The Work Which Transforms God (review)

BLUT AUS NORD — The Work Which Transforms God album cover Album · 2003 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Yog Sothoth
With song titles like "The Choir of the Dead" and "Procession of the Dead Clowns", this is not an album to play as background music for bingo events or Sunday brunches. It's bleak, cold, unforgivable and downright mean sounding. The music is almost a miasma of buzzy guitars playing dissonant melodies propulsed by somewhat industrial sounding drum tracks that pinball between slow grooves and ripping blasts. Vocals are basically growls and screams that are completely indecipherable, along with some distant additional vocal tracks that sort of meander and weave in and out of the music along with some keyboards to add to the creepy aura. There are a few tracks that are essentially eerie interludes to keep the haunting vibe afloat before the next onslaught of hair- raising chord progressions kicks in.

The French black metal scene had some unique ideas and style going on the first decade of this century judging by this effort. The guitar playing in particular is played in an interesting fashion...such as two guitars deliberately tuned to be a bit 'off' from each other to create this sick sounding swarming insect sound...which reminds me of Deathspell Omega to some extent, although this Blut Aus Nord album just about predates DsO's incorporation of that dissonant aggression into their work. Normally the idea of programmed drums is a big turn off for me, but in this case they work. There's a surprising amount of creativity going on in the programming, as if the tracks were performed by some progbot software.

There are a few tracks that don't quite measure up to others here, but songs like "The Choir of the Damned" with its angry bizarre riffs and the impressive variations on display in "Our Blessed Frozen Cells" are just too damn good to deny. The last track ends things on an impressive note as well, sounding almost gorgeous in a weirdly majestic fashion. I'm no fan of stagnant by-the-numbers black metal, thus I found this to be a bit of a treat and it had a sound of its own when it was released. .
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