Blut Aus Nord
Deus Salutis Meæ
- Year 2017
- Genre Black Metal
- Country France
- Label Debemur Morti Productions
- Rating Solid
Blut Aus Nord has provided a wealth of material for listeners to get lost in over the past twenty two years, moving between nightmarish industrial tinged black metal and the icy atmosphere of the ‘Memoria Vetusta’ trilogy. Each release has pushed the sound in slightly different directions, with a hypnotic and mind altering feel tying them all together. For the group’s latest full length ‘Deus Salutis Meæ’ creator Vindsval has once again channeled elements of industrial and black metal, but the density of the sound and methodical rhythms result in an album that feels claustrophobic and is a journey straight into the heart of madness.
…each piece blurs into the next and forms a singular entity, coming through like a stream of consciousness from a deranged individual…
After utilizing Thorns on drums for 2014’s ‘Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry’, ‘Deus Salutis Meæ’ returns to programmed drums which gives Blut Aus Nord that familiar cold, mechanical tonality and driving rhythms. What Vindsval has emphasized throughout this album is a sense of claustrophobia and tension, and while this certainly isn’t new territory for the band it has been taken to an entirely new level. The main reason for this is the sheer density of the instrumentation, which comes through as fuller and bottom heavy than ever before. Whether the songs are lumbering forth at a methodical pace or blasting away with swirling layers of guitar and bass riffs, ‘Deus Salutis Meæ’ comes across as genuinely uncomfortable and twisted. It’s admittedly a more straightforward and restrained approach for Blut Aus Nord, as while the material does go off in different directions each piece blurs into the next and forms a singular entity, coming through like a stream of consciousness from a deranged individual. But the writing works in favor of this approach, keeping things on the short side so as to avoid repetition from the stretched out drum patterns. Plus, when the atmosphere is so thick and encompasses the harsher, nightmarish side of black metal and industrial so well there’s plenty of reason to continue returning to this album.
In the past I’ve typically found myself drawn in more by the riffs and unpredictable instrumentation on Blut Aus Nord’s material, but this time around the vocals are one of the key elements that makes ‘Deus Salutis Meæ’ so powerful and unnerving. Chorea Macchabeorum starts off in familiar territory, delivering distorted growls that give way to clean chants. But by the time Impius kicks in the vocals have switched over to genuinely twisted and inhuman sounding pitches that sound like your worst nightmares come to life. It’s one of the best performances that this group has ever offered, and when combined with the thick atmosphere of the instrumentals it creates a sense of dread that sticks with you the whole way through.
At times ‘Deus Salutis Meæ’ comes across as more atmosphere focused than on individual riffs, given the way that the songs blur into each other. But given how claustrophobic and inhuman that atmosphere is, that ultimately works in the album’s favor. It may not be as grandiose or experimental as some of Blut Aus Nord’s prior work, but the brevity allows for the music to have greater impact and amplifies the cold industrial tone of year’s past. While I don’t necessarily see this one ranking near the top of Vindsval’s lengthy discography, it’s still a worthy effort that delivers a haunting and intimidating sound far above many of the others in the genre.