BLUT AUS NORD — Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age

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BLUT AUS NORD - Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age cover
4.00 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1996

Tracklist

1. Slaughterday (The Heathen Blood of Ours) (6:49)
2. On the Path of Wolf... Towards Dwarfhill (5:46)
3. Sons of Wisdom, Master of Elements (6:06)
4. The Forsaken Voices of the Ghostwood's Shadowy Realm (6:01)
5. The Territory of Witches / Guardians of the Dark Lake (8:12)
6. Day of Revenge (The Impure Blood of Theirs) (5:16)
7. Fathers of the Icy Age (7:00)

Total Time: 45:11

Line-up/Musicians

- Vindsval / all vocals and instruments

About this release

Released by Impure Creations Records (1000 copies).

Re-released by Candlelight USA in 2005 as "Fathers Of The Icy Ages".

Recorded and mixed by Vindsval.

Front cover by Francois de Nomé "Les Enfers"


Thanks to Vehemency, UMUR for the updates

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BLUT AUS NORD MEMORIA VETUSTA I: FATHERS OF THE ICY AGE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
Sure the Scandinavian nations were the first dementors of doom and din to usher in the first raging sonic fury of the black metal universe starting all the way back in the 80s when Bon Jovi was still “Living On A Prayer,” but as the 21st century wrested control over an expired millennium, it seems that the nation of France was poised to take the reins and steer the black metal beast into far more bizarre experimental arenas. Initiated by the Satanic theologies of Deathspell Omega, France has since consistently generated some of the most far-reaching examples of avant-garde and progressive black metal ranging from the medieval melancholy of Peste Noire to the psychedelic ambient surreality of Murmuüre.

The Mondeville based BLUT AUS NORD is amongst the early pioneers of more progressively infused black metal. Basically the solo project of Vindsval, the project started out in 1993 with two demo releases appearing before the 1995 debut “Ultima Thulée” which joined the wolf pack of black metal artists who were quickly expanding the subgenere’s range into an ever diversified sound spectrum. Defiantly ahead of the pack, the albums of the 1990s may not quite be as complex as the one’s that followed but on the second BLUT AUS NORD album titled MEMORIA VETUSTA I: FATHERS OF THE ICY AGE the blueprints were designed for a diversified soundscape to expand its tentacles into ever progressive pastures.

By incorporating icy atmospheres and expansive progressive meanderings, Vindsval was well on his way to becoming one of the 21st century’s masterminds of black metal evolution. MEMORIA VETUSTA I: FATHERS OF THE ICY AGE basically picks up where “Ultima Tulée” left off with the ideas presented evolving into more majestic monstrous black metal magic. All instruments once again played exclusively by Vindsval, MEMORIA VETUSTA I stands out in the sea of anti-Christian rage and Viking metal odes of yore and tackles the more esoteric subject matter that revolves around metaphysical subjects and all things deeply occult. The compositions are extended into massive sprawls of buzzsaw guitar distortion oscillating over the horizons of frigid winter landscapes accompanied by murky bass lines, percussive bombast and atmospheric cloud covers.

Upon first listen, BLUT AUS NORD can sound a lot like any other black metal band from the second wave of the 90s. Tremelo picking guitar style distorted to high heaven, buried raspy vocals screaming out from the suffocating din and an energetic percussive bombast that while not exactly blastbeating, still offers a veritable drum kit workout or two. Where BLUT AUS NORD stands out at this period of time is in the sophistication of how the compositions are constructed. Eschewing the simple straightforward approach, BLUT AUS NORD tackled more labyrinthine song structures that wend and win through various passages with an infinite supply of riffing variations and occasional outbursts into folky medieval sounding clean vocals that evoke a connection to the Viking metal scene of the north.

For those who are initiated, there actually is a storyline buried in the raw lo-fi outbursts of noise laden orotundity but for those not inclined to follow the epic tales of wolves and dwarfhills, then a completely ignorant approach is even more mystifying and probably even more gratifying as many of these storylines don’t pass the muster under closer scrutiny. Along for the ride on the undulating peaks and troughs of the guitar riffs are higher register guitar licks that often threaten to burst into fully fueled solos but they always stop short and simply repeat the melody in a more pronounced manner above the raging riff machine from whence it spawns.

All in all, MEMORIA VETUSTA I: FATHERS OF THE ICY AGE is a very mature second offering from one of France’s most enduring examples of progressively infused black metal and an excellent bridge into the more avant-garde and experimental releases to follow. Loaded with sophisticated twists and turns and icy atmospheres guiding the journey through a never-ending journey, BLUT AUS NORD’s earliest albums may not tackle the same eeriness that the later more acclaimed albums touch upon but are excellent examples of black metal in their own right. Musically, MEMORIA VETUSTA I falls somewhere between the intense fury of early Emperor albums and the slower tempos of Greek pioneers such as Rotting Christ. The compositions exhibit sophistication and variations but unleash them subtlety and in a very reserved manner. This is the type of music that engages in a stampeding repetition and just changes things up a little every now and then until you realize that everything has become something else. Best of all, this is a consistent album from beginning to end.
UMUR
"Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age" is the 2nd full-length studio album by French black metal act Blut aus Nord. The album was released through Impure Creations Records in 1996. The original version was limited to 1000 copies. The album was re-released by Candlelight Records US division in 2005 with the shortened title "Fathers of the Icy Age".

The music on the album is atmospheric and at times slightly experimental black metal. The vocals are raspy. The use of keyboards in the music really enhances the dark atmosphere and at times provide an epic touch to the tracks. The music is not symphonic though and the keyboards are generally very tastefully placed in the mix and clearly composed to create atmosphere rather than playing a lead role. The tempos in the tracks are mostly mid-paced but there are faster paced parts too. The generally (for black metal) slow pace also helps build the epic atmosphere that is present on the album.

The sound production is raw and a bit lo-fi, but not without charm, and it suits the rawness of the music well. Upon conclusion "Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age" is a good quality atmospheric black metal release and a great follow up to "Ultima Thulée (1995)". The music is intriguing and cleverly composed, the musicianship are solid, and the sound production suits the music, so I´d say a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fair.

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