Yea, its black metal from Europe (France, not Norway), but to categorize it in a more narrow way so that you people know whether you want to go in for this or not, I would say this is Atmospheric Blackened Doom. They utilize the classic features of traditional doom metal to create a dark atmosphere. Ever heard of dark ambient music? Well there are features of that too. This is not quite removed from the traditional black metal approach of Burzum, Mayhem, Darkthrone and Anaal Nathrakh (but that band is too hardcore, quite at the other end of the spectrum) etc, for example tracks like “The Supreme Abstract” have your traditional blast beats and growled vocals, but that is not the strength of this band. In fact, I almost always skip that track in favor of dirges like “Our Blessed Frozen Cells” which employ what I would like to call the slow, plodding drums and instead of screaming guitars played at a breakneck pace, we have guitars being used to paint a picture (a rather dreary and dark picture, it ain’t about no pixies and tooth fairies this stuff), heavily distorted of course. Yes, it is different from the traditional black but I like it, being tired of the traditional ways of Emperor and such like. After all how many times can you listen to “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” done in a hundred different ways by inferior bands?
The album does include a lot of filler in between the longer songs, and these are nothing but feedback and noise and are meant for heightening the intensity and atmosphere. I would skip all of that, tracks like “Fall” and “Density” and “End” are almost completely useless once you have heard them once and only serve to lengthen the track listing. A good thing about this band is that they have almost completely eschewed growls and tortured screams. Yes they are present on some tracks, but this is few and far between, and the production is such that they are only in the background, while the drums have been pushed to the forefront. That is another point, the drums, instead of sounding like a child beating incessantly on a piece of cardboard with his rattle, (to be found in the early releases of most black metal bands of the first wave, and also employed by bands today who want to sound “traditional and “true to the roots”) are the driving force of most of the cuts on this album and are the first thing you will notice on your first few listen. I have started to enjoy this album, not only because it’s not your traditional ground your face into the mud black metal, but also because the “ambient” growling of the guitars really does have some intensity and focus. Thumbs up to this album and I will be back in some time with more Blut Aus Nord. (which literally translates to Blood From the North). The minor quibbles that I have, of the album having a lot of go nowhere short pieces of ambient music are easily removed once you start appreciating the longer pieces. Also, I do not like it when they venture into the more hardcore aspect of black metal. But then those are easily avoided with the help of TDSR!!
Recommended Songs- Our Blessed Frozen Cells, Metamorphosis, Procession of the Dead Clowns. (the name sounds more like a Manowar or Exodus piece of thrash, pun unintended),