Blut Aus Nord "Deus Salutis Meæ"
Like some journey whilst blindfolded and hogtied in the trunk of a kidnapper's car, you never quite know where you'll end up with Blut Aus Nord. The blend of near poetic melody contrasted with their harsh industrial leanings and complimentary darkest of ambience across their discography can leave the average metalhead spinning on their metallic shoulders. Counter-intuitively you end up waiting for the next change, chop, turn or trick whenever you listen to anything new by BAN and this almost starts to detract from the experience as you wait like some cowering wreck for the sucker-punch to arrive.
Merciless though they are in the delivery of "Deus Salutis Meæ" (God of my Salvation) the twists and turns - although far from predictable - are as one would expect having heard anything by the band since "The Work Which Transforms God". Where "Deus..." differs slightly to me ears is the more obvious structure to proceedings, which obvious use of ambient tracks to pace the album over the full experience.
What occurs between these passages of dark reflection is just as chaotic and scary as you would expect it to be. There's little obvious "Memoria Vetusta" styling here but some of it is still present amidst the clashing percussion, churning bass and dense atmosphere of what sounds like a natural extension of the previously mentioned "The Work..." album. It is impossible to deny the power behind BAN's music and typically "Deus..." is a bashing of an affair. The thunderous opening of "Abisme" for example causes you to stop whatever you are doing and listen - like some industrial riffing dictator at some vast and menacing stage, addressing their crowd of loyal subjects.
Never content with just pummelling the listener with percussion there's a fair amount of mesmerising repetition also, like some endless coiling snake or fathomless vortex encircling the listener, crushing the very soul from their shell. "Revalatio" fades away but the same intensity of the track just churns on and on as though still playing now in some parallel universe, long after the reels have stopped turning here in this one! The void that "Ex Tenebrae Lucis" drops you into has no friendly alien lifeforms present as it taunts you like some inter dimensional bully after your cyber lunch money.
Criticisms? It seems over and done with too quickly, which whilst never coming across as disjointed or fractured does leave you stumbling a bit as the record just ends really suddenly. You end up feeling like a sprint runner, expecting the finish line but then suddenly seeing a wall just after it and having to slam on the heel brakes. The longest track on here is five and a half minutes and it almost feels like the album needs a couple of seven minute numbers to vary the experience a little. That having been said, "Deus..." is a still a triumph for a band who despite switching genres more often than some people change their duds still manage to produce challenging and though-provoking music.