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Blut Aus Nord - Odinist - The Destruction of Reason by Illumination CD (album) cover


Blut Aus Nord


Experimental/Post Metal

3.79 | 10 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Odinist' - Blut Aus Nord (78/100)

It works to Blut aus Nord's credit that one of the most standard and "average" albums in their discography would still stand out as excellent by another rubric. Considering their vast scope from the gorgeous melodies found in the Memoria Vetusta series to their ugly swirling opposites in MoRT and The Work Which Transforms God, it's tough even to think of Blut aus Nord as having a standard sound to fall back on. Between Odinist and The Mystical Beast of Rebellion however, I think they probably found crafted two fitting entry-level points into a terrifying discography. While Odinist was certainly fuelled by the same essential murk as TWWTG, the inaccessibility was evened out by some of Memoria Vetusta's melodic tact. It's chaotic as fuck by other black metal's standards, but in the context of Blut aus Nord it is fitting to see this as their "middle of the road" album.

I first heard this album several years ago and disliked it for its relatively moderate blend of beauty and chaos. Looking at it now, I really like it for the same reasons. I've been listening to Blut aus Nord more than probably any other band this year. They offer the sort of variety that could justify such obsessive listening, but I have found times where I'm torn between which side of BaN I want to hear. In the context of any of their masterpieces, Odinist pales, but taken all together it springs up as a near-perfect blend of what made either end of their spectrum so impressive.

After how exhausting MoRT must have been to write and record, it makes sense that Odinist, released a year later, would pull back on the reins. I don't think there would have been any way for Blut aus Nord to have improved over the two albums before this without completely shifting gears-- something they would do an album later on Dialogue with the Stars. Where their best dissonance was tiring on the ears, I don't think they push the listener as hard here. Their distinctive guitar tone and chord patterns are still conceivably alien to the ear of outsiders, but tracks like "Odinist" and "An Element of Flesh" carry enough hooks in the guitars to make perfect sense of it. Carrying on from TWWTG, the vocals are quietly muffled; the drums are cold and industrial. These traits didn't need to be changed bit in order to enable a fresh experience. Simply giving the guitars more accessible riffs to work with completely changes the dynamic.

I would probably show someone this album's title track if I was trying to engage a tentative newcomer to Blut aus Nord without completely deranging them. As an album, I think Odinist nails their grasp of dynamic much better than The Mystical Beast of Rebellion, which still managed to nail down the atmosphere in spite of falling short in other regards. Odinist is solid in virtually every sense. The only thing riding against it is the presence of far more powerful albums in this band's discography. If you were ever looking for a way into it however, here's your ticket.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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