BLUT AUS NORD — The Mystical Beast of Rebellion

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BLUT AUS NORD - The Mystical Beast of Rebellion cover
3.41 | 6 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2001

Tracklist

1. The Fall, Chapter I (6:39)
2. The Fall, Chapter II (7:43)
3. The Fall, Chapter III (3:38)
4. The Fall, Chapter IV (6:50)
5. The Fall, Chapter V (6:01)
6. The Fall, Chapter VI (10:22)

Total Time: 41:14

Line-up/Musicians

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About this release

Originally released in limited quantity in 2001 by Oaken Shield, a now closed label.

Re-released in 2010 on double vinyl (limited to 250 copies) and in 2011 on double CD with new artwork and three bonus tracks on the second disc:

1. The Fall, Chapter 7.7 (8:20)
2. The Fall, Chapter 7.77 (9:30)
3. The Fall, Chapter 7.777 (19:21)

Thanks to Wilytank for the updates

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BLUT AUS NORD THE MYSTICAL BEAST OF REBELLION reviews

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siLLy puPPy
BLUT AUS NORD formed all the way back in 1994 as the solo project of Vindsval but as a black metal band only managed to release two albums in the 90s however on “Ultima Thulée” and “Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age,” what began as a somewhat traditional atmospheric black metal project slowly developed into more progressive and experimental realms outside the orthodoxies of the typical Darkthrone inspired second wave. While its questionable if the project was intended to be a permanent ongoing one or just one of many to see which experiments find the biggest audience, after 1996’s “Memoria Vetusta I,” Vindsval set the project aside for five whole years while he dabbled in other bands such as “Children Of Maani” and “The Eye.”

After all was said and done, it seemed that the BLUT AUS NORD albums were gaining the most traction so that was the trajectory Vindsval has remained on ever since. It wouldn’t be until 2001 that BLUT AUS NORD would officially release the third album THE MYSTICAL BEAST OF REBELLION and for the first time session musicians were given credit. Vindsval handled the usual guitar and vocal combo pack, W.D. Feld performed on drums and keyboards whereas Nahaim handled bass duties. This third offering was basically a transition album from the project’s second wave black metal roots to the more esoteric experiments that followed. This album has appeared in two significantly different forms.

The original release with the darkened hues of brown and mysterious symbolic faces on the album cover consisted of only six tracks, each titled “The Fall” followed by “Chapter” and the accompanying Roman numeral. Often considered one of the weakest early BLUT AUS NORD albums due to the inconsistent quality, the album was re-released in 2010 with a completely different album cover. That one displayed a strange MYTHICAL BEAST that looks like what i would imagine to be a were-goat if such a thing existed. This re-release contains a second album or disc that adds an additional three tracks but due to the more progressive and experimental nature, these three tracks approach the 40 minute mark and essentially constitute a new album. I highly recommend this version if you set out to purchase this album as it’s this second bonus album that is far superior to the ho hum original track listing.

The original album is very much a mixed bag. In fact mostly an empty bag. The first four tracks almost sound like the same mix of repetitive guitar riffs and chord progressions with only minor variations undetectable to the passive listener. Sounding more like early Darkthrone than anything of the 21st century progressive era of BLUT AUS NORD, it’s almost as if Vindsval resurrected some demos out of the vault just to take up space. Not a stellar idea for an album that emerged five years after its predecessor. Hardly anything to get excited about given the quickened evolution of the black metal paradigms splintering into disparate factions. About as exciting as a faux bloodbath in Easter egg dye. It’s amazingly dull and monotonous. Only the beastly calls in between tracks stand out as something to pinpoint one’s attention upon. If there’s ever a black metal album that can put you to sleep, the first four tracks of this one should do the trick.

Luckily the album redeems itself from being a total waste of time with track 5, “The Fall: Chapter V” which suddenly transmogrifies into a bona fide interesting listening experience. The beastly calls announce the change and instead of a quickened buzzsaw guitar riff-fest in hyperdrive, the tempo is slowed down into a doomy dirge-like dread and the beast grunts continue as the track plods along with heavy distorted guitars, a murky hidden bass and a lazy drumbeat slowly build the gloomy atmospheric cloud covers and then begin to ratchet up the tension with bizarre guitar antics. Some kinds of guitar bends and a huge improvement in vocals over the generic nature of the earlier tracks. The finale “The Fall: Chapter VI” continues the developments and is equally enthralling however the album ends with an irritating 3 minutes of silence. I HATE THAT!!!!!

NOW, ABOUT THE RE-ISSUE, the ONLY ONE TO CHECK OUT REALLY

Given the lackluster selections presented on the original mostly demo quality release of THE MYTHICAL BEAST OF REBELLION, it was a wise decision for Vindsval to make it worthwhile for newbies to add a bunch of bonus material and i’m happy to say that this bonus material is far superior to anything on the original release. Stylistically these three newer tracks are intended to supplement the original material by keeping the theme intact. Therefore we get “The Fall: Chapter 7.7” followed by the two more same titles that tack on “7.77” and “7.777” which adds a little twist. These tracks display the same doomy plodding of the “Chapters V” and “VI” but takes those ideas to the logical conclusions. The tracks retain the same snail’s pace trot but are fortified with extremely angular riffs with jangly dissonance indicating that the emergence of Deathspell Omega’s popularity since the first release in 2001 clearly played a role in Vindsval’s approach.

The three tracks comprise a complete album’s worth of material. “Chapter 7.7” slinks over the eight minute mark, “Chapter 7.77” oozes past the nine and the grand finale “Chapter 7.777” clocks in at 21 seconds past the 19 minute mark however as lengthy as these tracks are, they all share the same characteristics. All slowly stomp down black metal alley with jagged razor sharp guitar angularities and deeply buried raspy vocals not so prominent as on the original release. The progressive elements are subtle but distinctly complex as the tritone attack of the guitars, bass and drums drift in and out of sync while darkened atmospheric overcasts keep the darkened doom effect in full obscureness. Overall both discs of this collection are extremely repetitive and hypnotic however it’s this second newer one that offers more subtle variations that keep the listening experience more active and also at this point BLUT AUS NORD has mastered the art of sonic terror, which has remained a steadfast trait of the underground extreme metal scene of France.

The original release of THE MYTHICAL BEAST OF REBELLION is perhaps the weakest album in the project’s lengthy canon and only worthy of 2 stars, however the second disc is an intricately designed slab of blackened doom metal worthy of a 4 star rating so if i had to average the two albums together then it’s an obvious 3 stars. I cannot stress though how imperative it is to only purchase the version of this album with the bonus tracks. I simply pretend that the second disc is what the original album was supposed to be and ignore what actually was put out in 2001. Still though even the original isn’t a complete waste of time, only about 2/3 of it is. Vindsval would completely resurrect BLUT AUS NORD from hibernation and never again allow so much time to lapse between albums. His next album “The Work Which Transforms God” took things to an even more sophisticated level and brought the project into the big boys club of extreme metal and things would never be the same.
Wilytank
Getting a CD to me means, among other things, that if I want to write a review for that album, I no longer have to be glued to a computer if I want to use the music as a reference (which I always do). I've also developed a craving to collect certain bands' discographies, one of them being Blut aus Nord's. One thing that's unfortunate though is that the three Blut aus Nord CDs I own at the time of writing this review are, in my opinion, their three weakest: 'The Mystical Beast of Rebellion', 'MoRT', and '777-The Desanctification'. None of these albums are inherently bad, but the good news is that any other album by them I buy is going to be better than what I have. For now though, let's get a review out for 'The Mystical Beast of Rebellion', the first Blut aus Nord album to be introduced to my collection.

Pressing the play button greets me with a fast paced assault of melodic tremolo guitar play and blast beating drums. This first piece, "Chapter I", maintains the drum pattern until a little after the four minute mark. But before that, the riffs do vary to prevent the song from becoming stagnant. Once the music ends, there's a minute of quiet sounding howling of wind that continues on into the first thirty seconds of the second song. Here lies the first problem this album has, and every song after the first one has that moment of quietness before and after the actual music. I call that time waste. I could handle it if it was just at the end of a song so I could just hit the skip button, but the fact that I must waste my precious finger energy holding the fast forward or otherwise sit waiting for the music to start again in the thirty or so second mark of the following song really grinds my gears.

Turning my attention to the actual music though, 'The Mystical Beast of Rebellion' isn't very bad at all. Blut aus Nord have all but dropped the pagan act here and have begun playing their nightmarish style that they would be known for in their following albums. Vindisval's guitar work is well played and well written; and the dark, nightmarish atmosphere is definitely present here; but these attributes are stronger in some places on this album than other parts of the album. However, as the songs go on, this album's second problem becomes apparent. The fast paced blast beating that was used in the beginning of "Chapter I" is reused as the standard drum pattern through the rest of the songs, which makes the album a little monotonous. The guitar work is well varied though, and the drum pace does try to switch itself up at sections such as the final minutes of "Chapter I" and the entirety of "Chapter V" where things slow up a good bit.

'The Mystical Beast of Rebellion' as a whole isn't Blut aus Nord's most memorable piece of music, and having all the songs named "The Fall, Chapter (roman numeral)" doesn't help. But although I usually only go back to "Chapter I" because there's no silence at the beginning and it eventually does slow its pace down, giving the whole album a full listen still offers a pretty solid experience despite its flaws. The good news for those who want this album for themselves is that the most readily available version of this album is the 2011 version with a bonus disc with three more songs that are all slower than disc one's and may be thicker in the nightmare atmosphere. It's a pretty win/win situation in my book.
J-Man
Reviewing an album like The Mystical Beast of Rebellion is a pretty difficult task for me. Black metal is one of my favorite types of music, and this album is often considered one of the seminal albums in the experimental/atonal style of the genre. Blut Aus Nord has created an album that succeeds in terms of dissonant riffing and blast beats, but my personal enjoyment is limited at best. The variation between tracks is almost nonexistent, and picking out more than one or two riffs once the album is over can prove to be a challenge. This may be an essential masterpiece for some black metal fans, but I'll take some Burzum and Emperor classics over this one any day of the week.

The music here is old school black metal characterized by extremely dissonant and atonal riffs, sharp vocals, and almost exclusively blast beats. There are a few calmer moments, but they are few and far between. The Mystical Beast of Rebellion simply doesn't have enough variation to justify its playing time (which is a problem since the original album is only 41 minutes). I guess you could consider the album to be an "epic" of sorts, seeing that every song is simply titled "The Fall Chapter I, II, III, etc.". If you get the Debemur Morti reissue, you get three bonus tracks that make up "The Fall Chapter 7". This monster track ends up being the best song on the entire album, so I'd certainly recommend checking out this version if you're going to buy this album nowadays.

The production is very raw and unpolished, but I personally enjoy the sound. The guitars have that distinct "buzzing" sound of the early black metal movement, and the vocals are also just right in the mix.

The Mystical Beast of Rebellion is a classic album that most self-respecting black metal fans own, but it's a somewhat difficult listen for these ears. The lack of variation and remarkable riffs ultimately diminish my experience. Blut Aus Nord's third outing is a groundbreaking record, though, and that certainly shouldn't go unnoticed. If you like black metal that's dissonant, atonal, and just plain evil, The Mystical Beast of Rebellion should be in your collection for sure. Seeing that my personal enjoyment is limited, though, the most I can give is 2.5 stars. This one is essential if you want to understand black metal, but I'd recommend proceeding with caution.
Vehemency
Blut Aus Nord’s third full-length has been sold out for a good while now, so it was only logical to see Debemur Morti Productions reissuing the album, and not merely making an identical package in comparison to the original; in addition to the new artwork, a second disc of wholly new material is attached to the package as well, comprising 37 minutes of fresh material in the same vein as the original record.

The Mystical Beast of Rebellion was the beginning of Blut Aus Nord’s transformation into the dissonant, mechanized style that has been further explored in the band’s latter albums such as The Work Which Transforms God and MoRT. There’s only little trace left of the atmospheric and melodic style that was presented on the first two albums: The Mystical Beast of Rebellion is a stripped down, weird, meandering piece of black metal where the drums are more clearly programmed, almost incessantly playing a stable blast beat throughout the album - it’s not until ”Chapter V” when the pace slows down. What’s left of the first records’ ambient elements is mere quiet humming between the seven tracks.

The three new songs, all simply named ”Chapter 7”, venture further into slower-paced, dark and doomy soundscapes, production-wise close to the first disc’s material. The last of the three takes this pattern the furthest, being a really slow 19-minute monster. I see no reason for a Blut Aus Nord fan not to like these newest offerings. In my books, nothing ever tops Ultima Thulée out of all the band’s releases, but that is not to underrate this convulsing weirdness that this album offers - on both discs.

To truly grasp what’s going on in the confusing maze of The Mystical Beast of Rebellion, careful attention is needed. As a background music this easily turns into a meaningless mess with little worth. This is what makes Blut Aus Nord’s unique style challenging on the album, even more so on the following records. The Mystical Beast of Rebellion is the most logical place to start discovering the band’s second style as it’s probably the most accessible of the bunch. I’d go even as far as saying that this is an influential album in the sense that it was among the first black metal albums to properly incorporate this sinister atonality.

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