"The Mystical Beast of Rebellion"

By Dr. Abner Mality

When I first heard Blut Aus Nord's "The Work Which Transforms God", it was like stepping through a gate into a completely different world of sound...warped, sick, challenging. Now I'm grateful to at last explore some of their rare back catalogue thanks to Debemur Morti Records and try to fathom the roots of this astonishing band's innovative sound.

"The Mystical Beast of Rebellion" was the third effort from Blut Aus Nord and the direct predecessor to "The Work Which Transforms God". And it's easy to see the direct connection between the two. "Beast..." finds a band that has shed all traditional aspects of black metal yet retains the sinister feeling of the genre. Vindisval and his cohorts here begin to twist, mutate and melt the sounds which an electric guitar can make, pulling weird distorted howls from the strings and coaxing out off-key blurs of noise. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: it literally sounds like the guitars are being tortured and transformed as you listen to them. The original "Beast..." album contains six songs which are considered chapters of "The Fall". Speed is a more important element here than in later B.A.N. compositions, as almost all songs blast away with a tidal wave of buzzy, blurry noise. Only "Chapter V" slows things down to a moody crawl, as the band plays with doomy textures and droning twangs that they would later explore more fully. Vocals are totally an afterthought...the ghosts of agonized screams echoing from a long way off.

For this reissue, listeners get a special treat: three additional tunes added to the original six. These aren't just quickie additions banged out in a hurry, but lengthy compositions that broaden and expand on the original tunes. The band's warped humor is seen with all the new tracks being called "Chapter VII". The last cut is a total monolith of doomy, crushing drone that mechanically rebuilds itself several times throughout its length. One of Blut Aus Nord's greatest achievements and a complete journey into a universe of negative sonic energy.

Amazing as it seems, "The Mystical Beast of Rebellion" was just an opening salvo in a campaign that would produced some of the most unorthdox heavy metal ever recorded. Yet it stands by itself as a true achievement. And it shows once again, there is truly nobody like Blut Aus Nord.