Blut Aus Nord
Memoria Vetusta I (Fathers of the Icy Ages)
1996, Candlelight Records
Blut Aus Nord, "Memoria Vetusta I (Fathers of the Icy Ages)"
Well, first off, why they lost the Francois de Nomé artwork in favor if the blurry green landscapes and illegible text is beyond me. At least the music is the same. Years before Blut Aus Nord decided to venture into space, they crafted fucking epic ghoulish black metal. And while the synth work has always been prevalent (not so much here as on Ultima Thulee), the horrific haunting envelopes of sound presented in the bewitching fashion they are here are better suited to black metal than the industrial blips and clangs of newer Blut Aus Nord works.
All that journalistic whining aside, Memoria Vetusta I is yet another lost gem of black metal’s sordid ancestry. Grinding, deranged and uncompromisingly grim, Vindsval crafted beautiful yet bleak excursions into fantasy and unlight. The grand scope of songs like “Son of Wisdom, Master of Elements,” and pagan-ish splendor of “The Forsaken Shadow of Gosthwood’s Shadow” haunt the ears, the subtle injections of demonic laughter and mighty choirs combine to create a completely surreal black metal experience. Too bad that Emperor came along and stole the thunder with Anthems... the next year.
Memoria Vetusta I is such a dense and stunning journey of a record that any fans of Emperor should take note. ‘Nuff said.Justin.S