Two years ago Blut Aus Nord produced their last full-length album, Cosmosophy, which brought to a resounding close the 777 trilogy. Every album in the trilogy drew praise from critics and fans alike, despite the fact that no one of them sounded quite like any of the others. Cosmosophy left wide open the intriguing question of where Vindsval would go next — though in fairness, with a band as inventive, idiosyncratic, and contrarian as this one, that’s always a question.
Where Blut Aus Nord have gone next is a new album named Memoria Vetusta III — Saturnian Poetry, which will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on October 10. Having completed the very personal 777 project, in which Vindsval chose to work alone, the new album features a new drummer, a human one named Thorns, as well as stellar cover art by none other than Kristian “Necrolord” Wahlin (with layout and illustrations by Dehn Sora). “But what about the music?”, you ask.
The reappearance of the Memoria Vetusta title will no doubt have fans thinking about the first two albums bearing that same name, despite the fact that Dialogue With the Stars followed Fathers of the Icy Age by roughly 13 years and Saturnian Poetry comes more than five years after the release of Dialogue. In short, this is no trilogy; unlike 777, these are not three parts of a single massive piece of music. But at the same time the resurrection of that title, which refers to memories of what is long past, was not done carelessly — as you will hear.
We are premiering for you today a song from Saturnian Poetry named “Paien”, which is the first song on the album after a slow, dramatic, keyboard prelude. It’s hard to think of a better word for the song than “epic”. “Majestic” and “mythic” also come to mind. It beckons the listener back to an ancient pagan age, its racing riffs, furious percussion, sweeping keyboards, and soul-stirring melody summoning images of warlike gallops through forests of the icy north.
But although the ravaging riffs and blasting drums (and Vindsval’s cracked-glass shrieks) will resonate with fans who hunger for more “traditional” melodic black metal, the song is not all one thing. As the racing charge slows, the music’s atmosphere changes, becoming more dark and melancholy (and more openly beautiful) — but without losing the air of majesty and the sense of a saga unfolding that is a constant in “Paien”.
The production, by the way, is powerful and clear enough that nothing is lost to the ears, including the wonderful tone of the instruments and the skill with which they are played.
What else the album holds in store — well, that’s a subject for another day.