Blut Aus Nord – Disharmonium – Nahab (Debemur Morti Productions)

Friday, 20th October 2023
Rating: 9.5 / 10

Vindsval is a busy guy; probably the least shocking thing you’ve heard today, but it must be said. One of the most productive musicians in extreme music, Blut Aus Nord has been on quite the hot streak since, well, 1994. This project doesn’t disappoint, and is never predictable, resulting in a massive discography of which any lover of macabre, avant-garde, ambient blackened insanity swears by. Vindsval is also a man who enjoys working in trilogies – the latest of which beginning last year with Disharmonium – Undreamable Abysses, sandwiched with the Lovecraftian Echos compilation, and now with the middle entry of the Disharmonium opus with Disharmonium – Nahab. The first of which was one of 2022’s best releases, it being an uncontrollable mass of bleakness that rattles the soul.

To no surprise, part two-of-three is somewhat of a continuation of the first, but also an arcane aural assault that’s one unto itself. We’ll also provide a bit of a disclaimer, in case Blut Aus Nord is a new venture – Disharmonium – Nahab is a grower. There’s a cacophony of textures to sift through and digest, making listening a rewarding experience for those who give this album the proper time to absorb fully. Sure, there’s plenty of near-instant gratification, but those delectable little nuances reveal themselves through repeat listens.

Diving in, “Mental Paralysis” sounds just like the title; a darkly gnarled symphony of droning guitars, inhuman snarls, and rhythms more forceful than Jupiter’s gravitational pull. A riffier path awaits in “The Endless Multitude,” layered with buzzing leads and an abundance of varied horrifying vocalizations. Nightmarish manifestations of the Lovecraftian variety, to be certain, as Vindsval and crew deliver cosmos-rattling resonant dynamics that are felt as well as heard.

Pieces like “The Crowning Horror” and “The Black Vortex” buzz like a hornet’s nest around the hapless, vividly combining electronics, groans, and dreary guitars in a tornado of derangement. “Nameless Rites” manages to turn the pace down just slightly, allowing brief gasps of air, before pulling the listener under once more, while “The Ultimate Void of Chaos” drums up discord in what is one of Blut Aus Nord’s most fearsome compositions. The cover art by Maciej Kamuda provides the perfect accompanying visual, with dark twisted figures emerging from a black fog. Lest we forget, wisely sprinkled throughout are three interlude tracks titled “Hideous Dream Opus” # 1-3 respectively, with the first serving as the intro track, and the latter two being transitions in just the right places to succinctly break the tension.

Blut Aus Nord once again continues to conquer like few can fathom. How each album has its own flavor is remarkable at this stage of nearly three decades of music. Disharmonium – Nahab dials up the urgency from its predecessor, and is somewhat more fervent, being a well-placed middle chapter of their latest saga. These ears can’t wait for the conclusion, and considering how quickly Blut Aus Nord has been churning out music, it may not be so far off. Until then, Disharmonium – Nahab is a sublimely deranged piece of music that reveals more horror with each spin.

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