Those who aren’t gazing off into the horizon with a staff at the ready—instead lulled into a tranquil state after the opening track “Acceptance” on Blut Aus Nord’s latest—miss out on truly embracing the epic nature of Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With The Stars. Not merely an epic but also an incredibly progressive piece of what we earthlings would call “black metal”—a term Blut Aus Nord’s leader Vindsval barely gives lip service—Dialogue With The Stars is the kind of release that makes Nachtmystium’s Assassins: Black Meddle Part I, last year’s most hyped example of “progressive/psychedelic black metal,” seem only slightly more complicated than Black Flag’s Damaged by comparison.
This is damn good.
Granted, it was hard to expect something bad from the experimental French studio band, now a trio since Vindsval has taken on “W.D. Feld” and “GhÖst” on live drums and bass, respectively. Still, the singular vision of Blut Aus Nord remains true, with a number of stunning cuts, most notably the ferocious opening cut, “Disciple’s Libration (Lost In The Nine Worlds),” your new soundtrack to conquer the Orient, “Antithesis Of The Flesh (…And Then Arises A New Essence),” and the downright breathtaking heroic sendoff, “The Formless Sphere (Beyond The Sphere).”
The majority of the material goes well beyond the five minute mark—if not, it’s merely an interlude—and there’s nary a bad second, let alone minute on Dialogue With The Stars. Immaculately crafted, it’s a high water mark for the style, highlighted by its own celestial shade.