Blut Aus Nord: 777 - The Desanctification

Candlelight Records

Scandinavia traditionally has been the world's chief exporter of blood-lusting metal. Be that as it may, France's Blut Aus Nord is every inch the equal of terrifying groups like Opeth and Katatonia. On their second release of 2011 (777 Sect(s) came out in March), the avant-sludge prodigies tune down their guitars in favor of transfigured, thoroughly inharmonious drone. 777 – The Desanctification is strange and intense, even by Blut Aus Nord's standards. It opens with the illusionary calm of "Epitome VII" and only gets hairier from there. In typical proggy fashion, the group has a strong distaste for brevity. Nearly every track clocks in at six minutes or longer, with psyche-sludge sounds piled on like kindling wood. Too bad the album dissolves into self-serious wankery as often it does. Yet despite its aversion to structure and melodicism, Blut Aus Nord is unflaggingly compelling. Chalk it up to the its carnivorous riffs and the ashy vocals of frontman Vindsval. (3 out of 5 stars)