A match carved in the catacombs of hell.
After the sweeping transcendental masterpiece that was 'Memoria Vetusta II', Blut Aus Nord once again underwent a transformation in favor of the experimental. The '777'-trilogy was eclectic and occasionally bizarre, warranting a divided, though generally positive, response. Perhaps Vindsval and his co-conspirators had finally wandered too far into a thin mist of pretension and avant-garde mechanisms? With the anticipated 'Memoria Vetusta III' looming on the horizon, Blut Aus Nord make a return to grandiosity. Perhaps a taste of what’s to come, 'Triunity' is a split effort with French industrial one-man project P.H.O.B.O.S.
Blut Aus Nord’s three pieces of the sextant 'Triunity' immediately stands out from their legacy by the inclusion of a live drummer. The '777'-albums were all written and recorded by Vindsval exclusively, and with an actual band returning, so does some of the majestic atmospheres of 'Memoria Vetusta'. Shelving the programmed drums proves to be a good move, contributing to a fuller and less clinical sound. Of course the cold and calculating drum-machine has always been a trademark of the band, but the compositions on 'Triunity' are well served by a richer and slightly warmer scope.
The three B.A.N.-tracks here are at times almost over the top in their reach, carefully constructed around weeping guitars which carve images of triumph and glory in that familiar 'Memoria'-manner. Adding to the crescendos of sprawling grandeur, the band retains their oppressive industrial black metal darkness, weird melodies, and apocalyptic chants. Together the songs cover vast ground, a culmination of the band’s evolution throughout the last 10-15 years. The dichotomy between soaring melodies and dystopian discord works as well as ever; this is pure Blut Aus Nord and some of their best work in years.
After the preceding demonstration of power, P.H.O.B.O.S. takes a significantly darker path with its contribution. The doomy and eerie black industrial within is comparable to earlier Blut Aus Nord, or their younger cousins Reverence. Resplendent with ominous synths and samples that sound alien and menacing, P.H.O.B.O.S. is a sonic descent into a post-apocalyptic subterranean nightmare. Drum loops and reverb-heavy riffs create a transfixing hypnotic soundscape, most akin to a ritualistic black ambient experience. It’s a sinister companion-piece that rounds off the split by way of a razor’s balance of suffocating darkness and mesmerizing luminosity.
Declaring a favorite side of 'Triunity' would be pointless and very difficult indeed. Both projects have a vastly different approach to what could roughly be lumped into the the same genre, and the interplay between the nightmarish darkness and awe-inspiring sonic vistas is sublime. Now bring on a full-fledged collaboration!
- Ailo Ravna, june 2014 (8,5/10)