Blut Aus Nord’s alchemic concoction of disturbingly magnificent extreme metal puts most bands who claim to ignore genre conventions to shame. Taking the blueprints of black metal and twisting them almost beyond recognition, the French innovators have been tackling boundaries with murderous rage since 1994, but have lost none of their potent bite on new album Deus Salutis Meæ. Over more than 20 years, frontman and founder Vindsval has proven his dedication to ignoring expectations, to the extent that the only real thing you can count on is a new opportunity to be thrilled and surprised.

Deus Salutis Meæ comprises terrifyingly addictive black metal with the weight of only the most colossal doom metal and the most distressing of predatory death metallers, rounded out by industrial textures and mesmeric avant-garde extremity. The instrumentation lurches incessantly around the group’s cavernous sound, its only salvation found in beguiling microtonal harmonies that add to the psychotropic disposition of the release. Enshrined within this malevolent style smatterings of melodic grandeur can be found, though never without swirling riffs that loop menacingly around demented vocals and occult chanting.

The group’s virtuosity when it comes to creating ambient soundscapes has never been more evident, but to interweave them without sacrificing the fiery inferno of their carnivorous sound is truly impressive. Repeated listens are rewarded here, as subtle experimentations make all the difference, and after twelve albums it’s no surprise that Blut Aus Nord are masters of crafting tracks that are as captivating as they are sonically intense.

Transcending their genre through intelligent experimentations that seldom miss their mark, Blut Aus Nord offer up increasingly more punishing sonic stylings as they obliterate the notion of genre. Deus Salutis Meæ is sweeping, cinematic and ruthlessly abrasive, a more-than-competent addition to the band’s discography.

Deus Salutis Meæ is out October 27th on Debemur Morti Productions. Pre-order here.

Words: George Parr

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