This week was rough. I wasn’t really into either of the albums I picked until last night. Something strange happened where both of them clicked all of a sudden. So I haven’t spent much time with either of these where I like them.
The first is Blut Aus Nord’s Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry. I liked their last album for doing some interesting experimentation with their sound. I didn’t love it, though. This album is a return to a more traditional black metal sound.
A hardcore black metal purist might not like this album, because it has less of an icy, atmospheric sound and more of an epic, grandiose sound. The songs are shaped to build into large, climactic moments and taper to more minimalistic ideas that loop and create a trance-like feel.
I think one of the reasons I resisted this album so much is that the melodic ideas felt uncomfortable at first. Now that I much better understand where the lines are going and how they fit together, I love them. What at first I thought of as uncomfortable has changed into a more interesting and organic melody.
One of my favorite aspects of this album is the use of clean vocals. I didn’t even notice it at first, but they appear all over the place as extra texture. They add a creepy extra dimension to the sound by stacking dissonances. It is almost like a thinner organ sound.
Overall, I really like this right now and plan on continuing to listen to it this week. Here’s a sample:
The other album I missed for this week is Dead Congregation’s Promulgation of the Fall. This has an old school death metal feel to it. From the songs structured around a few riffs with tempo changes between the sections to the technical and tight chromatic soloing, the album hits the right balance of complexity.
I’m not sure how they do it, but the playing itself is highly technical, yet they never sound like they are being overly flashy. The tempo changes are often difficult, but they flow naturally with how excellent the rhythm section is.
I think what makes this album so good is the balance. They strike the right balance of brutal and gritty, but still everything is audible. They hit the right balance of technique and complexity while still having solid, enjoyable riffs. It has a good balance between old school sound and modern production.
As I said in my opener, nothing clicked on this album until recently, so I’m still in the exploration phase of this one. I really like it right now. Here’s a sample:
For an update from last week, both of those albums have fallen off significantly. I liked them from the beginning, but the novelty has worn off a bit. I might not continue the series next week while I continue to listen to these two. The opposite effect is happening. I didn’t like these initially, but they are growing on me now and so I might do a more in depth review on one of these.