Blut aus Nord – 777 Sect(s) & Infestus – E x | I s t

To those that are not familiar with the black metal genre, the word beautiful would hardly be the first thing to spring to mind. Typically it would spark feelings of despair and darkness and images of the smoldering ruble of burned out churches and satanic worship.  But to those of us that listen and appreciate its aesthetics, a great black metal record is a thing of beauty, maybe not in a conventional, mainstream way, but there is beauty in its darkness and it the atmosphere it creates. Great music will always provoke an emotional response and few genres can affect emotional they way black metal can.

Two of the most compelling black metal bands around today are Blut Aus Nord and Infestus. Both bands have new albums being released in April on the Debemur Morti Productions label, and while both bands play extreme black metal, they approach it from different mindsets and have created two very diverse albums.  

“777 Sect(s)” is the latest release from Blut aus Nord and apparently is the first of trilogy that is to be released throughout the year.  Like some of their previous work, there is a strong Godflesh style industrial element to the music. The songs are often pounding and driving, but unlike other metal bands, Blut aus Nord is never in a rush to continually beat you over the head with frenzied blast beat attacks, they are not afraid to sit back and allow the songs to move in repetitive cycles that over the length of the song build into powerful statements and then open up into melodic passages that segue into the next song.  These passages give the harshness a chance to resonate and allow the listener a moment to breathe. After over 15 years and more than half a dozen releases, Blut aus Nord continue to expand their sound and have delivered another incredible album. 

Infestus have been around since 2003 and is currently made up of one person, “E x | I s t” is his third full length under the Infestus moniker and similar to “777 Sect(s)”, the music here is firmly rooted in black metal and is full of blast beats and tremolo picking but it’s not limited to just traditional black metal trappings. Where Blut aus Nord has a more industrial feel, Infestus incorporates elements of drone and ambiance, as well as a heavy use of acoustic guitars, which at times, has an almost Spanish guitar feel to them, which gives the music a more open and expansive feel. Vocally, it ranges from guttural growls, screams, wails and the occasional spoken piece; at times, there is also a greater sense of despair and an urgency to the vocals that adds to the overall sound.

What sets both of these bands apart is their ability to let their music breath.  After relentless cacophony, subtle ambient textures are allowed to flow through and it’s within these moments of clarity that the true power of the music seeps through.  This is dark and emotionally trying, yet beautifully powerful music and both of these bands have raised the bar for not only black metal; but music in general.

~ by silentium1 on April 7, 2011.

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