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Blut Aus Nord: Mystical Beast of Rebellion (reissue)

French avant-garde black metal musician Vindsval has put together some impressive output under the moniker of Blut Aus Nord over the years, and 2001's Mystical Beast of Rebellion is certainly one of them. This Debemur Morti reissue once again brings this monolithic album back into print for all to enjoy.

Comprised of a six part movement called "Fall Chapter", Mystical Beast of Rebellion is dark, haunting, pulverizing black metal. Each movement is lengthy, and starts out with a somewhat atmospheric opening before the pummeling blast beats, raging guitar riffs, and tortured vocal shrieks come into play. Many of the arrangements feature repetitive riffs and drum patters, but they change from track to track. "Fall Chapter III" is especially crushing, with manic tremelo picked riffs and chilling lead melody lines that constantly repeat, drilling a hole deep inside your head. As is the case with much of Blut Aus Nord's material, there's a real avant-garde flavor going on here, as Vindsval weaves dissonant musical structures inside the bombastic black metal framework. In the end, it's hard not to be overcome and drawn in by the sounds of Mystical Beast of Rebellion. This reissue, in addition to having new artwork, also includes 3 bonus tracks, the three part "Fall Chapter 7", which is much more in the funeral doom style than the relentless black metal heard on the regular part of the album, with the last part clocking in at just under 20 minutes in length.

If you are a black metal fan and have yet to check out Blut Aus Nord, this might be a good starting point. Although Mystical Beast of Rebellion is not as adventurous as Memoria Vetusta, Work Which Transforms God, Memoria Vetusta II/Dialogue with the Stars, or even Mort, here you can get an idea of how things began to evolve even further for the man known as Vindsval.

Track Listing
1. Fall Chapter I
2. Fall Chapter Ii
3. Fall Chapter Iii
4. Fall Chapter Iv
5. Fall Chapter V
6. Fall Chapter Vi
7. Fall Chapter VII
8. Fall Chapter VII
9. Fall Chapter VII

Added: March 6th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist MySpace Page
Hits: 2234
Language: english

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Blut Aus Nord: Mystical Beast of Rebellion (reissue)
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-03-06 10:22:14
My Score:

Reviewing an album like The Mystical Beast of Rebellion is a pretty difficult task for me. Black metal is one of my favorite types of music, and this album is often considered one of the seminal albums in the experimental/atonal style of the genre. Blut Aus Nord has created an album that succeeds in terms of dissonant riffing and blast beats, but my personal enjoyment is limited at best. The variation between tracks is almost nonexistent, and picking out more than one or two riffs once the album is over can prove to be a challenge. This may be an essential masterpiece for some black metal fans, but I'll take some Burzum and Emperor classics over this one any day of the week.

The music here is old school black metal characterized by extremely dissonant and atonal riffs, sharp vocals, and almost exclusively blast beats. There are a few calmer moments, but they are few and far between. The Mystical Beast of Rebellion simply doesn't have enough variation to justify its playing time (which is a problem since the original album is only 41 minutes). I guess you could consider the album to be an "epic" of sorts, seeing that every song is simply titled "The Fall Chapter I, II, III, etc.". If you get the Debemur Morti reissue, you get three bonus tracks that make up "The Fall Chapter 7". This monster track ends up being the best song on the entire album, so I'd certainly recommend checking out this version if you're going to buy this album nowadays.

The production is very raw and unpolished, but I personally enjoy the sound. The guitars have that distinct "buzzing" sound of the early black metal movement, and the vocals are also just right in the mix.

The Mystical Beast of Rebellion is a classic album that most self-respecting black metal fans own, but it's a somewhat difficult listen for these ears. The lack of variation and remarkable riffs ultimately diminish my experience. Blut Aus Nord's third outing is a groundbreaking record, though, and that certainly shouldn't go unnoticed. If you like black metal that's dissonant, atonal, and just plain evil, The Mystical Beast of Rebellion should be in your collection for sure. Seeing that my personal enjoyment is limited, though, the most I can give is 2.5 stars. This one is essential if you want to understand black metal, but I'd recommend proceeding with caution.

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