Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blut Aus Nord - Ultima Thulée

Band: Blut Aus Nord
Album: Ultima Thulée
Genre: Black Metal
Country of Origin: France
Year: 1995

Track Listing:
  1. The Son of Hoarfrost
  2. The Plain of Ida
  3. From Hlidskjalf
  4. My Prayer Beyond Ginnungagap
  5. Till I Perceive Bifrost
  6. On The Way to Vigrid
  7. Rigsthula
  8. The Last Journey of Ringhorn
Before Blut Aus Nord were making whacky Post-Black stuff like The Work Which Transforms God, they were a raw Black Metal band whose lyrics and music focused on Nordic mythology (hence the name, das typo and all). After changing their name from Vlad to Blut Aus Nord, they released Ultima Thulée, their first full length. "Ultima Thule" was a concept in the middle ages that denoted any land beyond the known reaches of the world and Blut Aus Nord utilize this concept, taking you far beyond into a frigid land by wrapping you up in frigid, raw riffs. The rawness really creates an atmosphere beyond what most raw Black Metal accomplishes. It's thick and encompassing while still leaving the riffs comprehensible. The ambience is further accented by echoing vocals and beautiful ambient electronics that are interspersed in all the right places without overstaying their welcome, in a way it reminds me of Varg's tactful synth use in Filosofem. The brilliance of the synths is best seen on the two ambient tracks, the haunting and reverent "My Prayer Beyond Ginnungagap" and gorgeous and ethereal "Rigsthula." This is a must have for any fan of raw Black Metal and any fan of Blut Aus Nord who is interested in what they sounded like in their early years.

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