Seems like those French dudes from atmospheric/avant-garde black metal band Blut Aus Nord can do no wrong these days. Their latest, Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue With the Stars, is another triumph, a sign that the black metal coming out of France, and the US for that matter with acts like Wolves in the Throne Room, Sothis, and Abigail Williams, is more than keeping up with the Swedes, the Finns, and the Norwegians.
Here on Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue With the Stars, all the elements that make Blut Aus Nord such a fascinating band are present. The vast keyboard soundscapes, the raging blast beats, crisp, tremelo picked guitar riffs, melodic leads & harmonies, haunting, ravaged vocals, and spooky sound effects. What's great about this group is that they mix things up quite a bit, as no song stays in a similar rut for too long ( a problem that plagues some acts in the genre), evident on tracks such as "The Cosmic Echoes Of Non-Matter (Immaterial Voices Of The Fathers)" and "Disciple's Libration (Lost In The Nine Worlds)", both of which contain plenty of black metal ferocity, yet there are gorgeous moments of stark atmosphere and bombastic swells of orchestrations & effects. Lyrically, this is a sequel to their concept album from 2005 titled Memoria Vetusta I, so if you happen to have checked that one out you'll no doubt want to pick up on the conceptual theme going on here as well. Musically, this is simply intoxicating from start to finish, a tune like "Translucent Body Of Air (Sutta Anapanasati)" features lulling guitar chords and yearning bass lines that force your mind to drift into a tranquil state, before the band lurches back in with the rampaging "Antithesis Of The Flesh (...And Then Arises A New Essence)", a violent black metal outburst that will have old school fans headbanging with approval. If you want epic & symphonic, there's that too, in the form of the progressive "....The Meditant (Dialogue With The Stars)" and the haunting "The Formless Sphere (Beyond The Reason)", the latter conjuring up images of classic Emperor.
Fans are surely in for a treat with Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue With the Stars, one of the early contenders for atmospheric black metal album of 2009. It's about time this band gets the acclaim they so deserve.
1. Acceptance (Aske)
2. Disciple's Libration (Lost In The Nine Worlds)
3. The Cosmic Echoes Of Non-Matter (Immaterial Voices Of The Fathers)
4. Translucent Body Of Air (Sutta Anapanasati)
5. Antithesis Of The Flesh (...And Then Arises A New Essence)
6. ....The Meditant (Dialogue With The Stars)
7. The Alcove Of Angels(Vipassana)
8. The Formless Sphere (Beyond The Reason)