Blut Aus Nord / P.H.O.B.O.S. “Triunity” (2014)

Debemur Morti’s roster has been blessed with a plethora of talented artists. Archgoat and Ævangelist come to mind, and Arckanum released some great albums on the label as well. However their most well known signed artist is Blut Aus Nord, the legendary French outfit whose genre-defying work has defined the post-Black Metal avant-garde. This newest release is a split with fellow Frenchmen P.H.O.B.O.S., all in all a very solid release after the somewhat tepid Debemur MoRTi EP in January. On this split, BaN continues the direction taken on The Desanctification and Cosmosophy, eschewing blast beats and tremolo picking in favor of soaring guitars and dreamy soundscapes. Tempered with the swirling chaos and harsh vocals more typical of previous BaN releases, Triunity offers a pure distillation of the best BaN has to offer, setting a new absurdly high standard for this music and hopefully foreshadowing Vindsval’s THREE upcoming releases in the next year.

The split starts off with “De Librio Arbitrio,” the first and best of the Vindsval’s contributions. Majestic detuned guitars and synths start the song amid live drumming(!) and deranged chants haunting the background. These elements melt together in BaN’s trademark expansive yet claustrophobic atmosphere that soon transitions as colossal solos break the surface into the foreground while carrying the listener through ecstatic heights. After this we’re led into a slow contemplative section so like those in Cosmosophy, giving a small respite from the abrasive chaos before the powerfully malevolent coda that delivers the monstrous song to an end.

The second song, “Hùbris” keeps the spirit going, with subdued guitars and drums setting a meditative ambiance alongside the unsettling soaring chants so common on The Desanctification. The deliberate pace advances through ethereal solos and crushing riffage, successive sections of elaboration balanced by melancholic ambiance and harsh vocals. Throughout the listener’s mind is besieged by visions of shadowy and esoteric vistas, the vertigo-inducing atmosphere offering bare glimpses of occult elements just beyond conceptual comprehension. The piece rounds out wonderfully before transitioning to the final work.

BaN’s contributions end with “Némeïnn,” an exquisitely slow and inexorably drawn out piece. Alien vocals and detuned guitars float in a miasma of apprehension and disquiet. The elements blend and repeat artfully through more and more stages of masterful anticipation. The we are hit with amazingly climactic passage towards the end of the piece, a tour de force hypnotically immersing the listener into a fevered consciousness through barely intelligible realms and realities, a depersonalized communion with the nature of reality that is the essence of Blut Aus Nord.

The latter half of the split contains three P.H.O.B.O.S. songs, all minimalist industrial works of identical length. The change in sound and atmosphere between the two artists on the album is somewhat jarring, a common occurrence on splits. The P.H.O.B.O.S. side starts with “Glowing Phosphoros,” a sparse work with erratic drums, black metal vocals, and eerie electronics that extend through the length of the song. Visions of urban decay are paramount, along with a a vague sickness, driven by the repetitive nature of the piece.

The second song “Transfixed at Golgotha,” is a bit more aggressive affair with the harsh electronic samples throughout. Swirling vocals enter in after a point alongside the samples and drumming, sounding inhuman in a way similar to BaN’s vocals. The bare, vaguely shamanic mood continues into the final song, “Ahrimanic Impulse Victory.” This song is perhaps the strongest of P.H.O.B.O.S.’ offerings, taking an ambient direction that offers an enjoyable shoegaze section, an element that would have served the other P.H.O.B.O.S. songs in addition as well.

All in all Triunity is a pretty solid split, with both artists offering worthy material. However it’s tough for P.H.O.B.O.S. to follow up an act like Blut Aus Nord, and their offering suffers in comparison, though not for lack of talent. However Blut Aus Nord shines beautifully on this album, producing three new songs that push the limits of the atmospheric avant-garde even further. This is a good omen for the upcoming year, and we should be blessed with much more of Vindsval’s demented music very soon.


Release:  June 20,2014
Label:  Debemur Morti
Avantgenre:  Esoteric Post-Black Metal
Duration:  40:35
Origin:  France
Official site:  None
Review online since:  16.07.2014 / 21:11:43


01 – De Librio Arbitrio
02 – Hùbris
03 – Némeïnn
04 – Glowing Phosphoros
05 – Transfixed At Golgotha
06 – Ahrimanic Impulse Victory

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