Blut Aus Nord – “Paien”

You can’t really talk in superlative terms when discussing entire genres populated by several nations’ worth of subgenres, but if you were forced at gunpoint to identify the “best black metal band in the world today,” you could comfortably nominate France’s Blut Aus Nord and at least not be wrong. Some backstory: Blut Aus Nord is the alias under which the French artist Vindsval operates. The name Vindsval is also also an alias; the whole thing has been totally anonymous since its inception two decades ago (I wrote a little bit about that aspect of BAN’s career here). Nearly everything released by Blut Aus Nord is (a) part of some ludicrously elaborate triangle-based concept, and (b) fucking amazing. His last full-length, 2012’s 777: Cosmosophy, concluded a trilogy that began in 2011; we named it the 9th best metal album of that year. Earlier this year, Blut Aus Nord returned briefly as half of the “Triunity” split with P.H.O.B.O.S.; we named that song the 2nd best metal track of May. Next up Vindsval will release Memoria Vetusta III – Saturnian Poetry, which concludes a trilogy kicked off in 1996. And today, a song from that new album arrives. It’s called “Paien” and it is, not surprisingly, stunning. Compared to Vindsval’s recent work, which had increasingly included elements of industrial and goth, “Paien” is fairly traditional black metal of the pagan/atmospheric variety (as you might have gleaned from the Winterfylleth-ian cover art), but it’s just about as good as the genre gets: a magnificent labyrinth of hurricane blasts and melodic twists, with richer details revealed around every new corner. I haven’t heard the album, and I’ve been anticipating it ever since first hearing about it, and … man, now I’m kinda dying. Listen now and join me in this glorious death.

(Via No Clean Singing.)

Memoria Vetusta III – Saturnian Poetry is out 10/7 via Debemur Morti. Pre-order it on vinyl or CD.