I recant: Blut Aus Nord’s “777” series has no clothes

Blut Aus Nord

Did you ever get really enthusiastic about an album, only to discover later after repeat listens that it’s actually junk?

If not, ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about my change of heart regarding Blut Aus Nord’s current cycle of albums, “777.”

I thought, and still think, Blut Aus Nord’s 2009 album, “Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars” was one of that year’s best albums. “MVII” was filled with lengthy compositions that were cold and harrowing, but filled with moments of acoustic and ambient beauty. The mood was somber and thoughtful while still retaining the freezing edge of black metal. To this day, I listen to “Memoria Vetusta II” at least on a weekly basis.

So when it was announced that BAN would be releasing a trilogy of albums beginning in 2011, I was very excited. Sure, I knew the band was eclectic — I had heard portions of “The Work Which Transforms God,” “Mort,” “Ultima Thulee” and the original “Memoria Vetusta” to know the band’s sound varies widely from album to album. I felt reasonably prepared.

But when my copy of “777 sect(s)” arrived (special order) from the record store, I was more than a little confused; instead of compositions, the album was, essentially, entirely made up of repetitive riffs and progressions. I tried to convince myself the album was worthwhile initially — on these pages, dear readers, I wrote a review where I largely praise its innovation and daring … but, apparently, my heart and my ears weren’t really behind what I was writing.

Remember how I mentioned I spin “Memoria Vetusta II” just about every week? Well, in contrast, I haven’t listened to “777 sect(s)” all the way through in ages. Once in a while I’ll think, “maybe I should give that album another chance” and I’ll slap it into the player … only to take it back out a short time later, to replace it with something I actually want to hear.

I had dim hopes the second disc in the trilogy, “777 The Desanctification” would be better — but after hearing the disc all the way though, I can report this album is just as dull and repetitive as “sect(s).”

There are good riffs in both albums … but then those riffs just keep on repeating over and over for 4 to 7 minutes. It becomes boring, and no amount of space noise or backwards vocals or can begin to give it interest or life. Frankly, the songs are also pretty much indistinguishable; you could easily mix up the tracks from both albums in random order and not notice; if repetition was the goal, give Blut Aus Nord an award because, hey, mission accomplished.

It’s possible I’m not entirely “Trve” enough to dig what Blut Aus Nord is trying to do here — which, apparently, is make some kind of statement about man’s place in a universe without religion, or order, or something ( in that regard, it’s as if the band made a soundtrack for the works of H.P. Lovecraft — yes, I really did reference Lovecraft, major nerd alert!). But if you’re going to make a Big Statement, the minimum requirement is that it has to be good enough for people to want to hear it — but as for me, I’ve heard enough.