Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meæ (Debemur Morti)Wednesday, 1st November 2017
In what could be Blut Aus Nord’s most debated album since 2006’s MoRT, Deus Salutis Meæ essentially flips the script from the band’s previous (and totally excellent) Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry. Memoria could, quite possibly, be the Frenchman’s most distinct offering of atmospheric black metal, offering up a heady convergence of mesmeric riffs and overall vastness of song. In comparison to some of BAN’s previous efforts, Memoria felt like it was the conclusion of a winding journey, with the band now ready to either take a satisfying victory lap, or go in a different direction. Deus Salutis Meæ answers that question rather resoundingly.
The industrial, mechanical side of BAN has decided to rear its head, eschewing riffs and epic motifs for a cold, plodding, nihilistic sound. The amount of layering — cold, cyber layering, that is — found across the album’s ten cuts clearly has an endgame in mind. Deus Salutis Meæ could be intended as a long-form, singular body of work, with grinding gears, perilous cries from the deep and spazzed-out guitar riffs. It’s like a futuristic dream gone wrong and Blut Aus Nord is being piped through loudspeakers as an assembly line works and works and works.
Largely bereft of emotion and to a large degree, memorable moments, Deus Salutis Meæ is the antithesis to its predecessor. Such a move can only be made by a band with a resume like Blut Aus Nord’s; there’s no need to re-count their staggering sonic triumphs and questionable stabs at blazing a not-so-beaten path. All Deus Salutis Meæ does is add to the enigma and luster of one of black metal’s true touchstone bands.