After listening to Codex Obscura Nomina, I was craving a collaboration between these guys and Mr. Silent Hill himself Akira Yamaoka. How perfect would that be? The man has spent decades establishing himself as the man to go too when you need to build an ominous, foreboding soundscape to the gaming environment. And now, France's avantgarde BM masters Blut Aus Nord and USBM group Ævangelist (from my hometown suburb oddly enough) seem to be following in his footsteps. With their new split, both groups seem intent on building the most terrifying survival horror OST ever written.
Blut Aus Nord kick the album off with their 4 tracks. Forget everything about their last album, Memoria Vetusta III. Typical of the band, their new work is nothing like the previous. The only similarity is that both works can be called "atmospheric"...just in very different ways. Instead of being vast and a little folky, Codex Obscura Nomina is a dark pool of industrial and electronic influences that is probably much more in line with 2012's 777 – Cosmosophy. It is from the very start of "Evanescent Hallucinations" that I began to develop the Yamaoka comparison. These tracks utilize a very similar use of trip-hop drumming, ambient noise, and machine-like effects to envelope the listener in an audio-induced sleep paralysis.
There are some vocals here, but it's mostly subtle, whispered growls and strange as with "Resonance(s)." No complaints here. I think anything further would have ruined the aesthetic (which is f#$king perfect imo). What the band chooses to include ends up being just another successful tool in building the disturbing duality of Portishead with Burzum. Even more sinister is the way in which each successive track seems to get louder and more aggressive, as if the unseen horrors are approaching one step at a time...and your back is against the wall.
Ævangelist take a slightly different approach to closing out the album though the atmosphere matches perfectly. Every last ounce of its strength to create one 20+ minute ode to misery and decay. Whereas Blut Aus Nord's contributions have a bit of a chill quality to offset the nightmares, "Threshold of the Miraculous" offers not a moment of solace. The composition masterfully works through a number of movements, all of which involve simple, malevolent guitar leads, droning distortion, and deeply guttural growls. But just when the despair has reached a peak, there is an interesting twist in the final third with a bassline, electronics, and vocals that almost resemble hip-hop...or at least 90's industrial. Very interesting stuff.
You need this in your life. The album is perfection, and I find myself going into a deep, satisfying trance every time I listen to it. I'm not sure what that means about me, but whatever. Watch for the full release on Friday. Find it on Bandcamp HERE. Stream in full on No Clean Singing.