Blut Aus Nord – 777 – Cosmosophy
Posted by Terrible Certainty Zine
Cosmosophy caps a staggering run of productivity for Blut Aus Nord. In just over two years the band has unleashed no less than five albums, although this output is perhaps better understood as the set of What Once Was…Liber EPs and the 777 trilogy, which Cosmosophy completes. There’s always anticipation surrounding new work from this French sorta-black metal collective, because main man Vindsval and company are notorious for their curveball stylistic forays from a (relatively) more traditional atmospheric black metal to droning, eerie ambience, to cold industrial elements. So it’s not particularly surprising that 777 – Cosmosophy shakes things up a bit from part one, Sect(s), and two, The Desanctification. What IS surprising is how flat and unengaging this album is.
Blut Aus Nord is not supposed to be an easy listen. Their stuff is great because it challenges the listener through its black metal offensive, and/or the claustrophobic, off kilter, haunting ambience the band is so good at layering together. There are fleeting moments of those things on Cosmosophy, but far and away they are lost in mundane, repetitive, easily digestible melodies. On “Epitome XVI” and “Epitome XVII” the band attempts some clean vocal melodies atop droning keys, but ultimately comes off as third-rate Enslaved. Other than that, the album consists of what you’d normally get from intros/outros to Blut Aus Nord songs and albums. You know, before something actually happens. If you drop the needle anywhere on Cosmosphy you’ll easily recognize what you hear as Blut Aus Nord, and the album revisits themes throughout the first two 777 records. The problem here is that Cosmosophy exists entirely along the plateaus that Blut Aus Nord traditionally employ to bridge the movements of true substance of their material. The palette-cleansing respites that bracket the band’s haunting, abrasive, challenging voice, regardless of where it falls on the Blut Aus Nord black metal continuum on any given project.
Simply put, this is an album consisting entirely of the calm before the Blut Aus Nord storms. Cosmosophy is the disappointment of the year, especially next to the impressive, blistering assault of the recent Once Was Was…Liber II. The good news is that Cosmosophy is but a single misstep in a wave of recent Blut Aus Nord material, and I have no doubt that the band will get it right again, regardless of the style of their next work.