“Deus Salutis Meae”

By Dr. Abner Mality

You can never say it enough: there is no band on Earth like Blut Aus Nord. I thought the recent release from the band Throane signaled the arrival of a worthy contender. Then I heard “Deus Salutis Meae” and its clear that nobody touches Blut Aus Nord when it comes to unsettling, bizarre and relentlessly dark music.

This new record is the closest they’ve come in sound and approach to their great masterpiece “The Work Which Transforms God”, which I consider their best. The sound is beyond oppressive but has a cohesion and even a groove to it that makes it perversely listenable. “Black metal” is an inadequate term to describe BAN’s music. That conjures up corpse paint clichés and typical “Norwegian” guitar based metal. This is nothing of the kind. The songs on “Deus Salutis Meae” lurch and heave like drunken zombies…traditional tunings and stylings are nowhere to be found. This extreme off-kilter approach often creates a feeling of sick dread, like things are terribly wrong. But this album avoids the excesses of the band’s “Mort” effort, which was virtually unlistenable by human ears. As said before, there is a kind of form and groove to these songs.

There are 3 brief synth soundscapes that have Greek lettered titles…all are dark and disquieting sound portals to the meatier tunes within. The best thing about “Deus Salutis Meae” is that the songs are all relatively brief and compact. They are just as long as they need to be and don’t drone on needlessly as some BAN tunes have done in the past. “Abisme” is a doomy nightmare trip to the abyss that’s less than 3 minutes but still devastating. “Revelatio” is a scourging blast of cosmic darkness a little more than four minutes in length. Each of these compact sounds is full of ghastly sound effects, analog synth weirdness and that patented Blut Aus Nord  twisted riffing. Only the last song “Metanoia” exceeds seven minutes and that is the weirdest of the bunch.

Not much more to say about this one. If “normal” black metal and typical dark industrial stuff is not enough to satisfy, it is time to drink the “Blood of the North” and find out what true darkness is.