May 172022

(Andy Synn gazes into the undreamable abyss of the new album from Blut Aus Nord)

Call me an elitist if you will (though I think my track record would prove otherwise), but it’s both amusing and exasperating in equal measure to see people whose knowledge and awareness of Black Metal is… let’s say, limited… suddenly acting like an authority on the genre simply because their favourite rock star decided they wanted to dabble a little.

Don’t get me wrong, I actively welcome new blood, new voices, new ideas – the last thing I want is for the genre, or any genre, to become creatively stagnant – but maybe try and actively learn something about the scene, and all the bands who’ve been actively innovating within it over the years, before making wild, misinformed declarations that make you sound like an ignorant jackass?

Also, let’s face it, a lot of the time when people say “best” they really just mean “most accessible”, and while “accessible” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad” (I can give you umpteen examples of bands who actively got better once they started producing their more “accessible” material) it’s also worth pointing out that just because something is easy (or easier) to listen to that doesn’t necessarily make it good either.

This album, however, is most definitely not an easy listen… but, then, anything this good rarely comes easy.

Continue reading »

Mar 202022


As you can see, I have ambitions for a two-part SOB this Sunday. Part 1 is obviously done, so I can confidently state that it includes singles and advance tracks from forthcoming albums. My plan for Part 2 is to recommend a collection of complete albums that have recently been released, albeit without proper reviews. Let’s get to it:


Blut Aus Nord‘s mastermind Vindsval has characterized his creations under that name as a “process of perpetual regeneration”. In introducing BAN‘s last album Hallucinogen, he observed: “Music is a fascinating quest without end… and it would be a mess to express the same range of emotions, a mess to remain frozen in the same aesthetic, the same energy, a mess to compose and release the same thing again and again… and again.” Continue reading »

Jan 242020


I usually try to group songs together in these installments in a way that makes sense at least to me, sometimes grouping by genre but in other ways as well. Today, however, the music is a little more “all over the map”. All three songs come from albums I love (and I think are pretty uniformly liked by my NCS comrades too), and I just want to make sure I honored the music before running up against the end-time for this list. You can find everything that preceded these three tracks here.


Part of the thrill afforded by a new Blut Aus Nord album is the process of discovery, because BAN has rarely followed a straight and steady path from one record to the next, and predicting how their path might twist and turn requires a crystal ball. The music is, as Vindsval has said himself, a “process of perpetual regeneration”. In the case of their new album, Hallucinogen (which I reviewed here), BAN turned to psychedelia, which they transformed through reformulation into a new aesthetic. Continue reading »

Oct 202019


For this week’s column I impulsively decided to write about two very different albums I’ve been looking forward to for a big part of the year. Why was the decision impulsive, you may ask?

Well, I’ve been sitting with the first one (by Blut Aus Nord) for months, and begin scribbling thoughts long ago, planning to time a review close to the release date — but some asshole leaked it and forced the label to release it prematurely. I then indefinitely deferred completing my review, knowing that fans of the band would already be well aware of its existence, and wondering what the point of a review would be if everyone could already freely listen to it and form their own impressions.

The second one (by Teitanblood) was hinted at back in the spring, officially announced on September 17th, and released late last week with no preview tracks. We received an advance copy of the album only a day or two before the release. Again, I wondered what the point would be in writing about it. Like the first band, the second one has a large and loyal following who would be well aware of the album’s existence and would be able to listen to it on their own.

And then I impulsively decided to stop over-thinking things. There are reasons to express opinions other than the goal of promoting music you enjoy, even if you don’t succeed in bringing even one new listener to the music. It seems that some people are interested in what we think even if they already have their own opinions. There is also pleasure (as well as agony) to be found in trying to explain why appealing music is appealing. And in the end, it also becomes payment of a debt of gratitude for experiences that make life richer. Continue reading »

Aug 112019


Although you can’t tell from the title of this post, it’s the first part of another two-part installment of this column. I didn’t call this “Part 1” because I dusted off a long-dormant strategy for the second one, which has its own long-dormant Category tag, and I’m using that instead of Part 2. All will become clear when I’m able to finish and post the second segment, hopefully later today but possibly on Monday morning.

Here, I’m beginning with a notable news item and then marching ahead with the music, which includes an EP, a new song and video, and advance tracks from forthcoming releases.


Part of the thrill afforded by a new Blut Aus Nord album is the process of discovery, because BAN has rarely followed a straight and steady path from one record to the next, and predicting how their path might twist and turn requires a crystal ball. In the case of their new album, Hallucinogen, Debemur Morti Productions has announced that it “begins a new era,” “ending the cycle of clandestine industrialised dissonance that culminated with previous transmission Deus Salutis Meae and moving skyward into freshly melodic territories of progressive clarity”. Continue reading »

Mar 222018


On each of the last three days I intended to post a round-up of new music and videos that I thought were worth your time, and each day I failed. I would have run out of time again today if I hadn’t managed to throttle my usual verbosity. In fact, I’ve resorted to sentence fragments rather than complete sentences in order to get this done.

As the days passed, of course, some of the items in this post have become a bit dated, and the volume of selections has swelled with newer discoveries.


After more than 20 years of musical activity, Blut Aus Nord finally released their first-ever music video a few days ago. The chosen song is “Metanoïa“, which appears on Deus Salutis Meae, which I reviewed here, accompanying our premiere of the first publicly revealed track from the album. Continue reading »

Sep 272017


At the bottom of this post you’ll find the first public streaming of a song from Deus Salutis Meæ (“God of My Salvation”), the new album by Blut Aus Nord. It’s the album’s fifth track and its name is “Apostasis“. It’s a great song by a groundbreaking band, and I wouldn’t blame you in the least if you skipped down and began listening, whether you continue reading what follows or not.

But if you’re curious about why I chose this song, how it fits within the album, and what else the album holds in store — though not in that precise order — read on. Continue reading »

Sep 092017


(Andy Synn is the author of this thought piece, and as always, we welcome your own thoughts in the Comments.)

I/we recently received a pair of promos here at NCS that couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed in style, Deus Salutis Meae by Blut Aus Nord and Will to Power by Arch Enemy.

The former is a return to the oppressive, industrialised soundscapes of The Work Which Transforms God and Mort, whose purposefully unsettling nature practically epitomises the idea of “art for art’s sake”, while the latter is a collection of shamelessly catchy, if predictably formulaic, tunes, designed with one eye firmly on increasing the band’s popularity and mainstream (in Metal terms at least) appeal.

And though the two bands/albums have very little in common on the purely musical side of things, their very nature means they can still be compared as representing the two polar extremes of the modern-day Metal spectrum. Continue reading »

Jun 142016

Blut Aus Nord-AEvangelist-Codex Obscura Nomina


To get right to the point: On June 17, Debemur Morti Productions will release Codex Obscura Nomina, an album-length split by Blut Aus Nord and Ævangelist, and we now bring you the chance to listen to all of it.

The album includes one EP-length track by Ævangelist named “Threshold of the Miraculous” and four tracks by Blut Aus Nord, which are themselves parts of a unified work called “Spectral Subsonic Waves (The Sound is an Organic Matter)”. Each piece stands alone, yet they achieve the ideal for a split release of any kind: They complement each other in ways that enable them, together, to magnify the impact that each produces separately. Continue reading »

May 202016

Blut Aus Nord-AEvangelist-Codex Obscura Nomina


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. Continue reading »