Blut Aus Nord have been known for challenging fans by not releasing lyrics to the public and shape shifting the genre by becoming unpredictable with every subsequent release. On Saturnian Poetry the band decide to play closer to the vest and bring forth a more dense and classic black metal attack. The riffs from beginning to end scream for attention with melodic beauty, while mixing the vocals well below the instrumentation in typical black metal fashion. The fury and speed that spews off of the record is truly powerful, never relenting to allow the listener to leave the world of beautiful misery that they create. The one problem with making such a by-the-book album is that the songs can get a bit dull at times. Almost every song follows the same format of speedy riffs, a soaring solo and breakdown near the middle, and an epic ending. While that may sound like an odd complaint, the structure can become tiresome.
There are truly no bad songs on Saturnian Poetry, but there is not truly anything to blow a listener away either. “Paien” sets off the album on a good template, being the trend setter for what is to come. The recording and vocal mixing creates a certain mystery with the lyrical aspect, while the guitars and drums set incredibly fast pacing. “Tellus Mater” follows up by utilizing some more flashy lead guitar work, while the second half is more monumental and epic. “Forhist” is the best track on the record, being the most tonally diverse. The vocals are more audible and feature the first real chorus, while the guitars slow down a bit in the middle to break up the extreme attack to the ears. “Metaphor of the Moon” is notable for being the most dramatic and melodic track, sounding like an epic battle is taking place and ending as if the final winner marches off in glorious but bloody victory.
If there are two disappointing aspects of Saturnian Poetry it would have to be the sound mixing and repetitive song structure. The mixing decides to set the guitars to the highest levels possible and leaves the drums, bass, and vocals heavily under to almost mask them out. The drums are barely audible at moments and the vocals never take control of any key segments. The song structure is especially troubling when the epic endings feels weaker due to following such a rigid and stale sound from beginning to end. There is one moment in the middle for a reprieve from the attack, but the lack of finesse kills the amazing work Blut Aus Nord do to set a good atmosphere to get entranced into.
Blut Aus Nord decide to make a textbook example of what black metal should be, displaying exactly how influential they have become in the genre. Along with Mayhem’s newest album, Saturnian Poetry is exactly what any black metal fan should expect. Fast riffs, old school recording, solid atmosphere, and haunting vocals. While this structure hurts the album’s overall effectiveness as a mood piece, there is limited to complain about otherwise. Blut Aus Nord simply keep doing what they are known for, making awesome black metal music.
3. Tellus Mater
6. Metaphor on the Moon
7. Clarissima Mundi Lumina
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