#18: Blut Aus Nord/Ævangelist split - 'Codex Obscura Nomina'
hear the track "the parallel echoes"
Blut Aus Nord is from France and the French love to reinvent black metal. And they do it well. Ævangelist is from America, a duo that is listed as being from both Illinois and Oregon. Which is also pretty black metal. Normally I would not present a split as a serious contender for a year end list, but the body of work both these bands are creating is singular in vision and highly creative.
On 'Codex Obscura Nomina' both bands converge towards the same sound: a swirling black mass of sounds with a unique but loopy electronic drum beat tying it all together. Blut Aus Nord is more loopy and hypnotic though, where Ævangelist tend to throw more curveballs at you from a rhythm perspective. While the overall sonic palette the bands are using is pretty similar here, they do sound a bit different. Most obviously, composition wise.
Where Blut Aus Nord uses more conventional rock song structures, Ævangelist contribute only one track to B.A.N.'s 4 tracks. That being said, the two bands contributions are about the same total playing length: about one side of an LP. So I suppose this is as true a split album as any. Aesthetically the two bands complement each other, but the production value is a bit lacking, especially for side B, Ævangelist. Oh well, the work is interesting enough to overlook the shortcomings on the production end of things, in my opinion.
What we here on this is primarily an atmospheric voyage into dark sounds. Blut Aus Nord sound more ambient than ever, and the vocals are very creepy. The first 3 songs are unique sonic excursions while track 4 is a bit more catchy in nature due to almost a dance beat happening. Both bands conjure industrial elements into the extreme metal sound, which is pretty black metal of course. This nod toward whole other genres makes the music especially interesting, that and its over the top immensity. It is as if you are in a giant canyon on another planet that dwarfs ours.
It is that creative spirit of striving to push the envelope or even invent something new that has landed this on a year end list or two. It is not easily digestible on many levels (the tinny production, the scary vibes, the disturbing voices, the utter darkness will drives many away from its universe). But 'Codex' succeeds in introducing one band's fanbase to another while continuing a new creative vision that both bands are pioneering in slightly different ways. Now if they can just spin off into some better studios and production situations, their next releases may be the best of this style yet heard but us human beings.