BLUT AUS NORD – Disharmonium Nahab (Album Review)

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What does this stuff mean?

Plunged deep into the nightmare now, the ‘Disharmonium’ series continues to haunt with this second offering. There’s still the fascinating dimension to this sound that it is considered black metal while displaying characteristics of the genre only in subtle touches. Blast beats are indeed present but feature in the background for accentuated turns of pace rather than their usual banging obstinacy, and the guitars spell profound dissonance but more as texture with a blunted attack than sharp stringy notes, blending with the prevailing torturous choirs in the background.

This is like ambient in black metal clothing, and there’s no one instrument that ever takes the liberty to rise above the others in the mixing space, even on the lead guitar bouts. It’s a gestalt of unified textural components, adopting the rounded contour of the perceived dreamworld. There are few spikes in the transient area, in spite of the occurring spectacle of aural violence throughout. It makes it a point to stylistically emulate the atmospheric and subterranean soundlessness of the dream; deep in the subconscious. Powerful dynamics control the various degrees of intensity but the production favors a more velvety smoothness granted to each instrument, so as to entrench the ears and minds down into the abyssal void. It’s like the music takes place in a space parallel to the listener’s conscious mind and it seems to be putting the audience into a trance, inescapably.

The vocals, even, subscribe to that ideology that all instruments should be utilized as textures. Their goal isn’t to deliver lyrics as a real human presence as would be the case in any other black metal. Their monstrous voracity only further alienates the listener and adds to the ongoing troubling confusion: it acts as an agent for the activated subconscious mind. There are no words to hang onto. It’s the triumph of abstract over concrete, so to speak. The songs are really instrumental and only have titles (no lyrics) as the single intelligible indication on where we might stand. So it’s purely the music that gives meaning; through strongly crafted themes and strange motifs with their highly evocative implications; as there are no words. Instead, these are metaphors using the language of musical composition over syntactic verbiage: an unburdening of sorts from the limiting prism of words.

“Disharmonium Nahab” Artwork

So what does it mean – this amorphous ambient art like odd notes roaming in a seemingly free soundscape outside of time? It’s the expression of dread. And just like a dream, it doesn’t just tell you clearly in black and white what it’s communicating. Here are a few possible reading interpretations: the wailing lead guitar in the background – that’s conscience warning, just like a call back to reality during a fever dream amidst the engulfing terror of discordant chaos. The main theme on ‘Mental Paralysis’; a repeating sequence of mind-numbing dissonance; depicts the paralyzing effect of fear, that feeling of being involuntarily motionless and stuck in a bad place. Certain parts, like the endings of ‘The Endless Multitude’ and ‘The Black Vortex’, are like fragments of a shattered entity trying to put itself back together, hence their obviously painful endeavor. They sound broken; almost fathomable, but not quite; and animated by some unnatural will to exist. The more melodic ‘Nameless Rites’ seeps out a bit of sorrow in that trademark Blut Aus Nord drama that always feels like an invitation to profound introspection

Released By: Debemur Morti Productions
Released On: August 25, 2023
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal / Avant-garde / Experimental

“Disharmonium Nahab” track list:

  1. Hideous Dream Opus #1
  2. Mental Paralysis
  3. The Endless Multitude
  4. Hideous Dream Opus #2
  5. The Crowning Horror
  6. Queen of the Dead Dimension
  7. The Black Vortex
  8. Nameless Rites
  9. Hideous Dream Opus #3
  10. The Ultimate Void of Chaos
  11. Forgotten Aeon

Pre-order Disharmonium Nahab HERE.

8.3 Great

Give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? Of course there’s always the odd chance you may be sucked into the maelstrom without even realizing it as your mind connects gradually but surely and tightly enough that, next thing you know, you’ve been transported to an “elsewhere” you can hardly describe and you’re effectively no longer in your bedroom. Huh, I jest of course (or do I ?). This is powerfully immersive material and given enough of a real chance, if you let it play its game with you, it’ll grab you and pull you in. And who knows where “in” is.

  • Songwriting 8.5
  • Musicianship 8.5
  • Originality 8
  • Production 8
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