Blut Aus Nord / P.H.O.B.O.S. – Triunity (split) (Debemur Morti Productions)

Sunday, 22nd June 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

Triunity is a split album between one of the planet’s best avant garde black metal bands (Blut Aus Nord) and P.H.O.B.O.S, an industrial doom one-man-band, both hailing from France, wrapped in some fantastic album artwork, a painting by Polish artist Katarzyna Urbanek, which you can see in detail here (click it, it’s awesome).  This split brings together some real darkness – strange vibes and heavy, alien atmospheres.

What can be said about BAN that hasn’t been gushed about by fans and writers everywhere…they’re prolific, influential and a bit shrouded in mystery.  Since 1995 they’ve been evolving their black metal into the tenebrous realms of the atmospheric and industrial.  With one hand always on the riffs, BAN has maintained a wonderfully unique mood under whatever madness is coming from the drums, over the span of many albums.  To me, this is the best part of BAN, and what got me hooked: the guitar riffs of haunting melodies and the peculiar atmospheres they create.  I’ve heard no other band like them, and do admittedly hold them in high regard.  On Triunity, BAN offer three stellar songs, and what I think are among their best material.  A real standout element is the drums, which sound organic (acoustic) versus the drum machine sounds heard in much of their music…it’s really refreshing.  The tracks are ominous, fairly straight-forward (rhythmically), melodic, and haunting.  They jive with the more recent works of the band, and feature memorable hooks.  Killer.

Enter P.H.O.B.O.S, with three tracks of seven minutes a piece, on the dot.  This is a pretty good pairing of groups for a spit, as the band’s sound very different, but the mood remains intact.  What I get from P.H.O.B.O.S is maybe reminiscent of late 80’s industrial stuff – perhaps the way some old Ministry would sound while hallucinating inside of a scary alien spaceship.  Main dude (only dude) Frédéric Sacri handles all sounds, guitars, keyboards, vocals and electronics.  It’s pretty tripped out, dark and hypnotic stuff, with a gnarly, bristly edge (thanks to the gruff vocals).

If you came for headliners BAN, stay for P.H.O.B.O.S. too.  This is a well put together split, from cover to content.

Debemur Morti Productions