A vast distance on the planet’s surface separates Blut Aus Nord and Ævangelist, but in the perilous, un-fleshed shadow realms from which their music seems to emanate, they are not so far apart. A split release by these two bands is one of those ideas that was ingenious in its conception but once revealed makes obvious sense — and it is an idea that has become a reality.
On June 17, Debemur Morti Productions will release Codex Obscura Nomina, a split LP by these two conjurors of otherworldly hallucinations. Blut Aus Nord contributes four songs while the split includes only a single track by Ævangelist — “Threshold of the Miraculous” — but it’s more than 21 minutes long. As a preview, today we’re bringing you the streaming premiere of an excerpt of that song, along with some thoughts about the song as a whole.
I’ll crawl out on a limb and say that for all the remarkable and terrifying music that Ævangelist have produced to date, here they have scaled their Everest; this is their best work yet. It is a vast and dappled canvas of imagination. Listening transports the mind, sinking it in an ink-black sea, yet buoyant and lit by the glimmer of phosphorescence. It is horrific, yet resilient, and paradoxically the spark of indomitable life in this enveloping chasm of death is what makes the song so striking.
Adventurous listeners have encountered songs of this length before. We know the significant challenges that confront such epic-length endeavors. Those that fall short are usually warped by self-indulgence and bloated with the monotony of inconsequential repetition. By contrast, after more than 21 minutes, this song seems too short. The click of time in the mind seems suspended; the music takes you out of your mind, the minutes suspended.
It’s mercurial and marvelous, intense and gripping, stabbing toward a new creative style and really not like anything I’ve heard before.
There is massive distortion, a dense layering of notes and tones, clanging noises, like a mixture of dragging chains and dismal moans, like the sensation of being tied down and wrenching to be free.
There are blasting drums and demented chords, discordant notes and shrieking voices, dismantling melodies and mind-melting hallucinations. You become a participant in the throes of a mental breakdown, almost obscenely intimate but emotionally gripping in a way that’s unavoidable.
Pulsing rhythms mix with eerie melodic emanations; morose spoken words mix with abyssal growls. The music is craggy and tumultuous; it generates the searing heat of volcanic floes; and it’s doomed and dragging, a black horror rent with the pain of scars and the urgent need to express that pain.
And, surprise of surprises, the song also includes a cacophony of industrial beats and deranged electronic noise, along with funky bass notes and spectral rap cadences — the heartbeat rhythm of spoken words against a chiming cosmic ambience.
But as catchy and primal as those segments are, the music soon veers away from the natural pulse of blood and plunges into a sea of chaos and disease, accompanied by grim, serrated roars and demented shrieks that are acidic enough to boil the skin.
Yet in the end, there’s a balance in the music that Ævangelist haven’t reached before, at least not to this extent. At least to these ears there’s a timbre of hope pulling hard against the gaping chasm of death. The funky rhythms and neck-snapping drumbeats are like a life raft in a merciless storm, the sparkling notes glimmering like shooting stars or the cascading waves of aurora borealis in a pitch-black sky.
Well, I suppose with me having spilled so many words, attempting so strenuously to capture how this music makes me feel, my enthusiasm about this track is abundantly evident. I only regret that I have only six-plus minutes of it to share with you.
And this is only a fragment of Ævangelist’s side of this album. Wait ’til you hear what Blut Aus Nord have wrought (I’ll have more to say about those four songs another day).
Codex Obscura Nomina will be available on June 17th on Digipack CD and Digital via Debemur Morti. A vinyl edition will be made available at a later date.