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Music / Blut aus Nord

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Blut aus Nord (Eng: Blood from (the) North) (formed in 1993 under the name Vlad) is a French Black Metal outfit from Lower Normandy, and is one of the most popular French black metal bands alongside Deathspell Omega, Peste Noire, and Alcest. Initially playing a melodic/ambient form of black metal for their first two releases, the band later added Industrial Metal and Progressive Metal elements in the vein of Godflesh starting with their 2001 release The Mystical Beast of Rebellion. Though they largely stick to this new sound, they have released two sequel albums to their sophomore effort Memoria vetusta I: Fathers of an Icy Age, with a fourth release in the series planned (the band originally planned a 2018 release date, but there seems to have been a Schedule Slip). They (or rather, guitarist and vocalist Vindsval) have also completed a trilogy of albums (the 777 albums) that all share thematic elements and track numbering while also adding Avant-Garde Metal elements to their sound.


Like their fellow countrymen Deathspell Omega, their music is often harsh and dissonant, with noisy guitars, chaotic drumming, heavy use of Drone of Dread and Hell Is That Noise, and an overall dark, almost alien feel. However, their work also frequently features (relatively) mellow, ambient passages, which are more pronounced in their early work and their throwbacks. Additionally, while both bands take substantial amounts of influence from Black Metal, Progressive Rock, and Avant-garde Music, Deathspell's work tends also to be more influenced by modern classical music, while Blut aus Nord draws more influence from Industrial Metal bands.

While their name and some of their song titles might suggest nationalistic leanings, the band have disavowed nationalism and proclaimed their kinship with "environmentalist black metal" bands such as Wolves in the Throne Room and, in fact, Memoria vetusta I (the only album of theirs for which lyrics have been released) has a story centring around revenge for an act of attempted genocide.


They have an official Bandcamp site where you can buy digital downloads of most of their music or stream it for free. (For whatever reason, What Once Was... Liber II, Decorporation..., Dissociated Human Junction, and the bonus disc of The Mystical Beast of Rebellion aren't up there).

  • Vindsval (guitars, vocals, drum programming) (1993 - Present)
  • Thorns (drums) (2014 - present)
  • W.D. Feld (programmed drums, electronic instrumentation, keyboards) (1994 - unknown; see Epileptic Trees on the YMMV page)
  • GhÖst (bass guitar) (2003 - unknown; see Epileptic Trees on the YMMV page)

  • Ultima thulée (1995)
  • Memoria vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age (1996)
  • The Mystical Beast of Rebellion (2001; re-released in 2010 with a bonus disc of new material created as an explicit sequel)
  • The Work Which Transforms God (2003)
  • Decorporation... (split with Reverence) (2004)
  • Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity: Soundtracks for Scientists of Occult Synchretism (EP) (2005)
  • MoRT (short for Metamorphosis of Realistic Theories) (2006)
  • Odinist - The Destruction of Reason by Illumination (2007)
  • Dissociated Human Junction (split with Bloodoline, Reverence, and Karras) (2007)
  • Memoria vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars (2009)
  • What Once Was... Liber I (EP) (2010)
  • 777 - Sect(s) (2011)
  • 777 - The Desanctification (2011)
  • What Once Was... Liber II (EP) (2012)
  • 777 - Cosmosophy (2012)
  • What Once Was... Liber III (EP) (2013)
  • Debemur MoRTi (EP) (2014)
  • Triunity (split with P.H.O.B.O.S.) (2014)
  • Memoria vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry (2014)
  • Codex obscura nomina (2016, split with Ævangelist)
  • Deus salutis meæ (God of My Salvation, 2017)
  • Hallucinogen (2019)
  • La Lumière sous le monde (The Light Under the World, forthcoming)
  • Memoria vetusta IV: Empyerus (forthcoming)

Blut aus Nord provides examples for the following tropes:

  • Aerith and Bob: The band's full lineup consists of Vindsval, GhÖst, Thorns, and W.D. Feld.
  • Album Intro Track: Several releases have them. Examples include The Work Which Transforms God, Odinist, Deus salutis meæ, and Memoria vetusta II and III.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different:
    • "Level-2 (Nothing Is Not)" on the Thematic Emanation EP is an ambient trip-hop track that almost sounds like a Boards of Canada or Massive Attack song. Also counts as a Surprisingly Gentle Song. The following song, "Level-3 (Nothing Becomes)", meanwhile, is a serene ambient song, though some listeners may find it mildly unsettling. The entire EP counts somewhat, as it's mostly instrumental and has more to do with industrial music than with Black Metal. Insofar as it's metal, it's Blut aus Nord's one release that's unambiguously Industrial Metal rather than the Black Metal/Industrial Metal hybrid that defines so much of their work.
    • 777 - Cosmosophy also counts, as it's Lighter and Softer than the rest of the trilogy (and even Blut aus Nord's melodic black metal albums) and contains almost no Harsh Vocals. It has essentially no traces of Black Metal, being a straight-up Progressive Metal album that is likely to qualify as Sweet Dreams Fuel for many listeners.
    • MoRT is often considered one of the band's most terrifying albums, due in part to its lack of anything resembling conventional song structure, and also because it increases the band's usage of dissonance Up to Eleven. Despite this, a few passages qualify as conventionally beautiful, and the album actually isn't quite as heavy as most of the band's industrial black metal output, as the guitar distortion is turned down somewhat from the band's usual standard - the album is terrifying mostly because it is so dissonant and disorienting. The album also does have something of a structure; it's comprised of eight chapters varying from about four to about seven minutes in length, each with anywhere from about forty-five seconds to about a minute and twenty seconds of ambience between them. Repeated listening helps demystify the album somewhat, but it's still an oddity even by the band's standards.
    • "My Prayer Beyond Ginnungagap" is an entirely A Cappella chant. It also appears to be the only song on the album to have had its lyrics released, which is particularly odd because the chanting sounds wordless.
    • A more minor example, but the What Once Was records are more or less straight death metal.
  • Anonymous Band: Probably one of the few acts that rivals Deathspell Omega in this. We have pseudonyms for most of the main band members, but apart from drummer Thorns, we don't know any of the band members' real names, and it's still debated whether two of the band members (W.D. Feld and GhÖst) are still part of the group - or, for that matter, ever even existed. We have photos of the band, but most of them obscure the members' faces, and they've never performed live. Many releases also don't bother listing even the band members' pseudonyms, so it's difficult to know for sure which band members performed on which releases. Vindsval has given a few interviews that explain his ideology to some extent, but it's still rather remarkable how little we know about the band and its members.
  • Arc Number: Unsurprisingly, the 777 trilogy has 7.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Vindsval has gotta have one of the better stage names in black metal.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of their lyrics and packaging are in French (in particular, "My Prayer Beyond Ginnungagap" and "Epitome XV", plus all the liner notes to the What Once Was releases). Many of the song titles on Memoria vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry are in other languages, such as Greek or Latin. (Not to mention "Memoria vetusta" itself, which means "The Old Memory").
  • Black Metal: One of the genre's leading acts in the 21st Century. (It should be noted that 777 - Comsosophy doesn't have much to do with this style, but all the band's other albums do).
    • Industrial Metal: Starting with The Mystical Beast of Rebellion and expanded upon starting with The Work Which Transforms God. Nearly all the band's works from this point on are industrial black metal, with the exception of the Memoria vetusta albums, which are melodic black metal, and the complete outliers Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity (pure Industrial Metal with few, if any, traces of Black Metal) and 777 - Cosmosophy (Avant-Garde Metal or Progressive Metal).
    • Progressive Metal/Avant-Garde Metal: The former starting with The Work Which Transforms God and the latter with 777 - Sect(s).
    • Death Metal: An influence on the What Once Was releases.
    • Ambient: MoRT is heavily influenced by dark ambient. Some of the band's other releases have some influence from the style as well.
  • Black Speech: What a lot of their vocals tend to come across as, especially the weird babbling voices at the beginning of "Epitome VII". The ambient interstices on What Once Was... Liber II also feature a number of incomprehensible babbling voices that have this effect.
  • Bookends: Memoria vetusta I opens and closes with the same snippet of instrumental music.
  • Breather Episode: There are quite a few of these. The second half of "Our Blessed Frozen Cells" is much more melodic and less nightmarish than most of the album that surrounds it, for example, while the even-numbered tracks on 777 - Sect(s) tend to be much more melodic than the odd-numbered ones (although this doesn't necessarily make them less heavy). The short interludes on Deus salutis meæ serve somewhat the same purpose; while still maintaining the same overall dark atmosphere of the rest of the album, they're not as heavy. One could also consider the ambient interludes on MoRT and the first disc of The Mystical Beast of Rebellion to be examples of this trope; they're not given their own tracks, but they tend to provide anywhere from about forty-five seconds to about a minute and forty seconds of respite from their respective albums' metal onslaughts.
  • Buddhism:
    • Appears to be a major influence on Dialogue with the Stars.
      • "Translucent Body of Air (Sutta Anapanasati)" refers to the Ānāpānasati Sutta, a discourse that details the Buddha's instructions on using awareness of breathing to guide meditation.
      • "The Alcove of Angels (Vipassana)" refers to Vipassanā (Sanskrit: विपश्यन), a kind of meditation that is intended to focus one's awareness on things as they truly are.
    • The discarded Mort song titles also reference Buddhist concepts.
      • "Samsaric Ocean" refers to saṃsāra, the beginning-less cycle of birth, mundane existence, death, and rebirth; it is considered to be unsatisfactory and painful, perpetuated by desire, ignorance, and the resulting karma.
      • Samadhi (referenced in "The Meditation of the Ghost (Samadhi)") is a state of meditative consciousness that is the final element of the Noble Eightfold Path.
  • Call-Back: In addition to the most obvious examples (i.e., 777, Memoria vetusta, What Once Was, the 2010 bonus disc of The Mystical Beast of Rebellion), there are some subtler ones.
    • After The Work Which Transforms God, Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity opens with a track called "Enter (The Transformed God Basement)" which is very similar stylistically to "Procession of the Dead Clowns", the final track on The Work Which Transforms God and a fairly unique track in the band's discography (arguably, the second half of "Our Blessed Frozen Cells" was the only other clearly similar work in the band's discography at the time).
    • The Work Which Transforms God also has a short track entitled "The Fall", while every song on The Mystical Beast of Rebellion was entitled "The Fall Chapter (number)", though in this case it's not clear whether these were intended as related works.
  • Child Prodigy: Vindsval, given that he was no older than sixteen when Ultima thulée came out and seventeen at the time of Fathers of the Icy Age's release.
  • Concept Album: At least one explicit example with Fathers of the Icy Age, which tells a fantasy story about a tribe of warriors who survive a genocide from an Evil Overlord and then embark on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Most of their other albums also seem to revolve around a central theme, but the lack of published lyrics makes it difficult to tell. In particular:
    • The Work Which Transforms God, despite the lack of printed lyrics, is reportedly intended to challenge the listener's perceptions of reality.
    • MoRT seems to be about something, given that its songs are listed as chapters.
    • The Mystical Beast of Rebellion seems to be this too, if not the album's title gives the idea it's about Satan and his fall. This is also helped that the songs are called "The Fall" with each song being listed as a chapter. This also includes the re-released edition with "The Fall: Chapter 7".
  • Cover Version: They covered Godflesh's "Mighty Trust Krusher" for a Cover Album. It later reappeared as a bonus track to the latest reissue of The Work Which Transforms God. They also covered Pitchshifter's "Bastardiser" for the Debemur morti EP.
  • Darker and Edgier: The band's sound became much more abrasive starting with The Mystical Beast of Rebellion.
    • Lighter and Softer: What the second and third Memoria vetusta albums, which are throwbacks to their old sound, are to their later albums. Also, what Cosmosophy is to the first two volumes of the 777 trilogy (and, for that matter, the rest of their discography); hardly any songs even have harsh vocals. Hallucinogen qualifies as well.
  • Distinct Double Album:
    • The 777 trilogy is something of a distinct triple album, with each release having some unique characteristics in their discography.
      • The odd-numbered tracks on Sect(s) are in their typical industrial black metal style. The even-numbered tracks are more melodic (though still retaining the industrial elements), with the final track being a chilled-out instrumental.
      • The first half of The Desanctification is also mostly in their industrial black metal style, though "Epitome X" is again more melodic. The second half of the album ("Epitome XI" through "Epitome XIII") takes a trip into space, with most of the vocals being clean vocals (when they appear at all) and with "XI" and "XII" also being substantially more melodic than the band's usual fare. "XIII" uses more of the band's trademark dissonance, but the Harsh Vocals are relegated to a background role for most of the song.
      • Cosmosophy is completely unique in the band's discography, being a melodic, ethereal Progressive Metal album with almost no harsh vocals, blast beats, or tremolo picking to be found.
    • The reissue of The Mystical Beast of Rebellion also counts, given that its two halves were recorded about ten years apart. The first half is a bit simpler - arguably the simplest of their industrial metal works, really - with fairly fast-paced songs, each of which is linked to the next one by a short ambient segment. The second half is a bit slower in tempo, and its songs are longer (indeed, the final track is thus far the longest one Blut aus Nord has released).
  • Drone of Dread: Used frequently, with one notable example being the song "Procession of the Dead Clowns" from The Work Which Transforms God and another being "Level-3 (Nothing Becomes)" from Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity. Note that these are two of the gentler songs in their discography despite their usage of this trope.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Zigzagged. While their earlier releases, Ultima thulée and Memoria vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age, sound much different than their later releases (with a sound closer to that of Summoning than Godflesh), they have also made two sequels to Memoria vetusta that retread the older sound. There's also the fact that Fathers of the Icy Age has published lyrics telling a fairly straightforward Heavy Mithril story, while later albums wouldn't have any published lyrics and would focus more on spiritual and occult themes.
  • Epic Rocking: The good majority of their output is over the six-minute mark, with their longest song ("The Fall: Chapter 7.777" from the re-release of The Mystical Beast of Rebellion) clocking out at 19:21. Most of their albums have at least one song topping the six-minute mark; the exceptions are Odinist (longest song "An Element of Flesh", 5:31) and Deus salutis meæ (longest song "Apostasis", 5:29), with volumes I and III of What Once Was and their side of the Ævangelist split also not containing any examples (Ævangelist's side, however, consists exclusively of the 21:34 "Threshold of the Miraculous"). Other particularly notable examples (with 7:40 arbitrarily chosen as the cutoff point):
    • Ultima Thulée: "The Plain of Ida" (8:54), "From Hlidskjalf" (7:44)
    • Memoria vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age: "The Territory of Witches / Guardians of the Dark Lake" (8:12)
    • The Mystical Beast of Rebellion: "The Fall Chapter II" (7:43), "The Fall Chapter 7.7" (8:20), "The Fall Chapter 7.77" (9:30), "The Fall Chapter 7.777" (19:21). ("The Fall Chapter VI" is listed as 10:23 on CD versions, but the last four minutes of this are silence. LP versions omit the silence.)
    • The Work Which Transforms God: "Our Blessed Frozen Cells" (7:55), "Procession of the Dead Clowns" (9:55)
    • Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity: "Level-1 (Nothing Is)" (8:00)
    • Memoria vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars: "Disciple's Libration (Lost in the Nine Worlds)" (9:06), "The Formless Sphere (Beyond the Reason)" (7:53), "....The Meditant (Dialogue with the Stars)" (10:14), "The Alcove of Angels (Vipassana)" (8:43), "Antithesis of the Flesh (...And Then Arises a New Essence)" (9:28)note 
    • 777 - Sect(s): "Epitome 01" (7:57), "Epitome 04" (11:52)
    • 777 - The Desanctification: "Epitome VII" (8:28)
    • What Once Was... Liber II: "I" (9:29)
    • 777 - Cosmosophy: "Epitome XIV" (8:55), "Epitome XVI" (10:18), "Epitome XVII" (9:27), "Epitome XVIII" (11:01). Special points for every track on this album exceeding the six-minute mark.
    • Memoria vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry: "Forhist" (8:56), "The Metaphor of the Moon" (8:12), "Clarissima mundi lumina" (8:30). Another album with every track exceeding the six-minute mark, excluding a brief intro.
    • Hallucinogen: "Nomos Nebuleam" (8:28). Again, every track on this album exceeds the six-minute mark.
  • The Faceless: The band appear this way in the few official band photos taken of them.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Several of their albums are entirely gapless, such as MoRT, The Mystical Beast of Rebellion (the first disc), their side of Codex obscura nomina, and most of the What Once Was EPs. "The Cosmic Echoes of Non-Matter (Immaterial Voices of the Fathers)" also fades into "Translucent Body of Air (Sutta Anapanasati)". There are probably a few other examples not listed here.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: The ending of "Epitome XIII" is one particularly notable example. The song seems to end, and then a screeching tremolo riff that sounds like the guitar equivalent of "Psycho" Strings comes in, soon accompanied by a glitchy electronic beat, which continues on until the song finally ends.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: A tolling church bell can be heard near the end of "Chapter I" of MoRT; it reappears during a few other interludes on the album. "The Choir of the Dead" also has this at the end of the song, where it's distorted into a Drone of Dread.
  • Foreign Language Title: Both the band itself and a good chunk of their songs and albums.
  • Genre-Busting: While the bulk of their sound is black metal, they incorporate many other genres and influences, including industrial, ambient, death, and doom metal.
  • Genre Shift: From a melodic, ambient take on Black Metal on their first two albums to a harsher, Industrial Metal-tinged sound influenced by Godflesh and early Pitchshifter on their later releases. Partially subverted in that they revisit their old sound every so often.
  • Gratuitous English: The lyrics of Fathers of the Icy Age are written entirely in English, and while it's mostly pretty decent, it's clear from reading them that English wasn't Vindsval's first language when he wrote the album. (To be fair, he also could have been no older than seventeen at the time, given his reported birth year of 1979.)
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: In addition to the Greek, German, Latin, and French titles, there are these:
    • "Chorea Macchabeorum" ("कोरिया मछाबोरुं") appears to mean "Korean Fisherman" in Hindi, believe it or not. This may be a coincidence, however.
    • "Forhist" is the Frankish term that became "forêt" in French and "forest" in English (plus "Forst" in German).
  • Gratuitous French: Since they're French, they have album and song titles, lyrics, and liner notes in French. Translations of titles: "Païen" means "Pagan"; "Le Cercle de ceux qui pleurent" (one of the discarded alternate titles for MoRT) means "The Circle of Those Who Cry"; Mort itself means Death; La Lumière sous le monde means The Light Under the World; "Abisme" is Old/Middle French (and Catalan) for "abyss".
  • Gratuitous German: Their name is meant to mean "Blood from the North," but is grammatically wrong (although That Other Wiki suggests that the grammar would be correct for nautical jargon); a better version would be Blut aus dem Norden. It's also possible they meant it to mean "Blood of the North", in which case it should have been "Blut des Nordens". Interestingly, cardinal directions are seldom used in spoken German.
  • Gratuitous Greek:
    • Fully half of the songs on Deus salutis meæ have Greek titles, three of which use the Greek alphabet and the other two of which use Latin (presumably to distinguish the interludes - in Greek script - from full-length songs - in Latin script):
      • "δημιουργός" or "dimiourgós" means "creator" or "creative".
      • "γνῶσις" or "gnôsis" means "knowledge", "cognition", or "genesis". (This word is also used in English without an accent to refer to the act or process of knowing; an immanent form of knowledge or transcendent insight, such as that sought by the Gnostics; or, in occultism, an altered state of knowledge in which the will is magically effective.)
      • "Apostasis" means (if spelt as "Απόστασης") "distance", "length", or "duration", or (if spelt as "Ἀπόστασις") or "apostasy" (which was probably the intended meaning).
      • "ἡσυχασμός" or "hesychasmós" means "quietism", "complacency", or "trouble". (The word hesychasm in English, referring to a tradition of contemplative prayer in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, is a direct descendent of this word.)
      • "Métanoïa" or "Μετᾰ́νοιᾰ" (or, in simplified form, "Μετάνοια") means "repentance". ("Metanoia", without accents, is also used in English to refer to a fundamental change of mind or a spiritual conversion.)
    • There's also the song title "Henosis" ("Ἕνωσις") from Memoria vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry, which means "Union" (incidentally, Deathspell Omega's Kénôse is the French translation of this word's antonym, "Kenosis"/"Κένωσης").
    • From Debemur morti, "Tetraktys" ("Τετρακτύς") means "Quadruple".
    • The second and third songs from Triunity may also be examples of this. "Hùbris" would be "Ὕβρις" in the Greek alphabet; in addition to its Captain Obvious meaning of hubris, it also means insolence or outrage. "Némeïnn" is a slight misspelling (remove the final n) of "Nέμειν", which means "to divide".
  • Gratuitous Latin:
    • Memoria vetusta translates as The Old Memory.
    • Deus salutis meæ translates as God of My Salvation.
    • Codex obscura nomina could be translated a number of different ways (Codex of Obscure Names Codex of Dark Names, Dark Codex of Names...).
    • Debemur morti translates as We Owe Death or We Are Bound to Death.
    • "Tellus mater" translates as "Mother Earth".
    • "De librio arbitrio" translates roughly as "Of Free Will", though the spelling doesn't appear to be standard (libero arbitrio would be more standard). It may be a reference to "De libero arbitrio diatribe sive collatio", a polemic written by Desiderius Erasmus in 1524.
    • "Clarissima mundi lumina" means "The Brightest Lights of the World".
    • "Impius" means "wicked" (or "impious", its linguistic descendant).
    • "Revelatio" means "The Revelation" (again, its linguistic descendant).
    • "Ex tenebrae lucis" means "From the Darkness, Light" or "Out of Darkness, Light".
    • "Chorea macchabeorum" appears to mean "Dance of Death", "Macabre Dance" (i.e., the Danse Macabre), or "Dance of the Maccabees" (in the latter case, both words would be capitalised, as Maccabees would be considered a proper nounnote ). However, it's a slightly non-standard spelling - "Chorea Maccabaeorum" or "Chorea Machabaeorum" would be more standard. (As mentioned in Gratuitous Foreign Language above, this title may also mean "Korean Fisherman" in Hindi; however, it's more probable that the title was intended to be Latin, and the Hindi connection is probably coincidental.)
  • Green Aesop: Hard to tell for sure if there are any in their music, but they've expressed support for environmentalism in interviews and one of the song titles on Memoria vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry translates as "Mother Earth", so it's a fair assumption. ("Forhist", from the same album, takes its title from the Frankish word that serves as the linguistic root of the English word "forest".)
  • Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: For whatever reason, a few songs have these or variants thereof, such as "The Parallel Echöes", "Hùbris", and "Métanoïa". However, while removing the accents would result in actual English words, the latter two may also be Greek written in the Latin alphabet, in which case they would be written as "Ὕβρις" and "Μετᾰ́νοιᾰ" in the Greek alphabet; the band does have a habit of writing Greek titles in Latin script. (The words are, naturally, the linguistic ancestors of the English terms.)
  • Heavy Mithril: They write frequently about fantasy, mythology, and the occult.
  • I Am the Band: Vindsval is the only official member credited on several releases before 2003 and starting again in 2014 (Thorns is credited on recent releases as a session drummer, but is not considered a member of the band). Even when there were other members in the band officially (W.D. Feld and GhÖst), they never interacted with the press (not that Vindsval interacts much more). Some fans have speculated that the other members never even existed and were just pseudonyms for Vindsval.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Blut aus Nord uses vocals more for atmosphere than anything else, so it's often unclear if anything is even being sung to begin with. Not helped at all by the fact that the only album for which they have released lyrics is Fathers of the Icy Age.
  • Instrumentals: Lots of them. "Rigsthula", "End", "Density", "Procession of the Dead Clowns", "Level-2 (Nothing Is Not)", "Level-3 (Nothing Becomes)", "Epitome VI", "Epitome IX", "Epitome XI", "Epitome XII", "Acceptance (Aske)", "Translucent Body of Air (Sutta Anapanasati)", "Elevation", "Δημιουργός", "Γνῶσις", "Ἡσυχασμός", list goes on. Many of these are also Surprisingly Gentle Songs, although some of them may be considered borderline examples as they contain Scatting.
  • Last Note Nightmare: The band has plenty of both straight examples and inversions.
    • "Exit (Towards the Asylum)" is a highly unsettling ending to Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity after the two fairly gentle songs that preceded it.
    • The end of "Epitome XIII" is also a straight example, providing a reprise of the track's most dissonant riff after a Fake-Out Fade-Out.
    • Often times, however, the band's releases invert this trope, with the last song on the album being one of the gentlest; 777 - Sect(s), The Work Which Transforms God, and Memoria vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars all can be considered examples of this. Even if an entire closing track isn't an inversion of this trope, it may still end as an inversion - see, for instance, "Last Journey of Ringhorn". For a song example that doesn't close out an album, "Our Blessed Frozen Cells" is also an inversion.
    • "The Choir of the Dead" provides another example, with the last minute of the song taken up by what sounds like the highly distorted tolling of a bell and nothing else.
  • Literary Allusion Title:
    • "Procession of the Dead Clowns" may refer to the Thomas Ligotti story The Last Feast of Harlequin, which contains a procession of dead clowns.
    • There are at least two to the English occultist Aleister Crowley. 777 is the title of one of his works, and Odinist's subtitle (The Destruction of Reason by Illumination) also comes from his works.
  • Long Runner Lineup: The band had the same lineup from 2003 to 2014, although this is debated considering there's no information of whatever happened to W.D. Feld and GhÖst (neither of them are listed in the credits of Saturnian Poetry, and Feld isn't listed in the credits of Triunity either).
  • Long Title: A lot of albums and songs have these, often owing to the subtitles. The longest by far has got to be Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity: Soundtracks for Scientists of Occult Synchretism, though.
  • Loudness War: Mostly averted until the 2014 releases; the mastering is generally not that badly clipped and the albums tend to be in the DR8-DR9 range. A few albums are borderline cases at DR7, but there still usually isn't much clipping. Vinyl editions tend to be more dynamic, as they usually are. With Debemur morti, Triunity, Codex obscura nomina, and Deus salutis meæ, the band has begun to fall into this a bit, sadly, though by contemporary standards they're still fairly dynamic (for instance, Deus salutis meæ is still overall DR7, though some tracks drop as low as DR5; their side of Codex obscura nomina is DR6).
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Density" from The Work Which Transforms God is a mere eighteen seconds long. It consists of silence. The rest of their examples aren't that extreme. "Δημιουργός" is 1:20; "Γνῶσις" is 1:27; "Ἡσυχασμός" is 1:06; the intro to Odinist is 1:30; the outro is 1:39; "Exit (Towards the Asylum)" is 1:02; "Acceptance (Aske)" is 1:30; "Prelude" is 1:21. All of these, it should be noted, are intros, outros, or interludes; it's fairly rare for their actual songs to dip below four minutes, and there are probably more above the six-minute mark than not.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Their early material and later Memoria vetusta albums are a hard 8-solid 9, while their Industrial Metal output tends to be a hard 9 to a hard 10. Hallucinogen is mostly in 7-9 range. 777 - Cosmosophy is the clear outlier among the band's full-length albums, being mostly in the 5-7 range; the EP Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity, meanwhile, probably falls mostly in the 6-8 range, with "Level-2 (Nothing Is Not)" and "Level-3 (Nothing Becomes)" both probably being no higher than 4 and arguably as low as 2. MoRT is probably almost impossible to classify; the reduced usage of guitar distortion could lead some people to rank it as an 8, but the increased usage of dissonance and incredibly disorienting album structure might lead others to rank it as an 11. The other big question marks are the first two 777 records, which alternate between level 10 industrial black metal and more melodic, chilled out material that can fall much lower; they probably average about a 9 all told, but it really depends on the track. Several instrumental intros/interludes/outros also fall way lower than the majority of the band's work, with some as low as 1.
  • Musical Pastiche: The opening of "Epitome XIV" is a tribute to Bathory's "Shores in Flames".
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Their sound is a mixture of Black Metal, Industrial Metal, Progressive Metal, and frequently other genres. The What Once Was releases throw old-school Death Metal into the mix, for example, while most of the 777 trilogy also throws in Avant-Garde Metal.
  • New Sound Album:
    • The Mystical Beast of Rebellion shifted their sound from conventional Black Metal to a hybrid of Black Metal, Industrial Metal, and Progressive Metal.
    • 777 - Sect(s) altered their sound to a more atmospheric one, adding Avant-Garde Metal elements in the process
    • Inverted with the second and third Memoria vetusta albums, which are mostly Old Sound Albums, although they still throw in some of the band's newer influences, just in a less nightmarish manner than usual.
    • Hallucinogen is also an example, with instrumentation typical of melodic black metal, song structures typical of progressive metal, and a mixture of vocal styles.
  • No Title: All of the songs on the What Once Was albums are untitled. They're usually referred to by fans with the album name followed by either Roman numerals or album side and track number (i.e., A3). Digital releases simply title the songs with Roman numerals ("I", "II", etc.).
  • Nonindicative Name: The song "End" is the Album Intro Track for The Work Which Transforms God.
  • Norse Mythology: Ultima Thulee seems to be based on Norse myths, with song titles like "Till I Perceive Bifrost" and "On the Way to Vigrid" giving it away. There aren't any published lyrics, however, with the exception of "My Prayer Beyond Ginnungagap".
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Gregorian choirs are frequently sampled.
  • Overly Long Name: A good chunk of their recordings, but Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity: Soundtracks for Scientists of Occult Synchretism has to take the cake.
  • "Psycho" Strings: The Last Note Nightmare in "Epitome XIII" is like this trope played on a guitar rather than a violin.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The basic story of Fathers of the Icy Age.
  • Rule of Seven: Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 777 releases use seven-bar patterns and 7/4 or 7/8 time signatures pretty frequently.
  • Sampling: "Level 1 (Nothing Is)" samples some muffled dialogue from The Evil Dead while "Level 3 (Nothing Becomes)" samples some of the Ominous Latin Chanting from Eyes Wide Shut.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Frequently shows up in the album titles and possibly also in the lyrics. The Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity EP is probably the best example.
  • Song Style Shift: "Our Blessed Frozen Cells" has the most celebrated example in the band's discography, switching from the hellish industrial black metal that makes up most of The Work Which Transforms God to a beautiful instrumental portion about midway through. Another good example is "Last Journey of Ringhorn", which starts out as the melodic black metal typical of Ultima Thulée and then takes a trip into space.
  • Soprano and Gravel: While most of their vocals are the Metal Scream expected of black metal, there are occasional clean vocals thrown in for contrast on some albums. On Cosmosophy these are the rule rather than the exception, although some songs still have Harsh Vocals - however, these are used for atmospheric effect and are quite faint in the mix. Hallucinogen has more Harsh Vocals than Cosmosophy, but still not very many; some songs have only clean singing. On Saturnian Poetry and the second half of The Desanctification (when the songs have vocals at all), the screams and clean singing are used about half-and-half; on most other albums, the clean singing tends to be the exception rather than the rule.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Most notably, a French spoken-word passage in "Epitome XV". It's very strange and some listeners have claimed that it sounds like a Piss Take Rap.
  • Stop and Go: There is a moment in "The Fall Chapter IV" where the music pauses for about ten seconds, then resumes as though nothing had happened.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Frequently used at the ends of albums. Examples include "Epitome VI", "Procession of the Dead Clowns", and "Elevation". This tendency of theirs is taken Up to Eleven with the 777 trilogy, as Cosmosophy is a Surprisingly Gentle Album, while Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity (often released as a bonus disc to The Work Which Transforms God, and apparently considered an appendix of sorts to the album) probably qualifies as a Surprisingly Gentle EP, with "Level-2 (Nothing Is Not)" and "Level-3 (Nothing Becomes)" standing out as particularly gentle.
  • Teen Genius: Vindsval was apparently 16 years old when Ultima Thulee was recorded.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Averted on most of their releases, which tend to be complex not just by Black Metal standards but by almost anyone's standards. Even the What Once Was releases, which were advertised as being more "back-to-basics", are still pretty convoluted with frequent time signature changes and other complexities.
  • Title by Number: Several albums.
    • The Mystical Beast of Rebellion has "The Fall: Chapter I" through "The Fall: Chapter VI". Reissues add three tracks, all titled "The Fall: Chapter 7" (note the use of Arabic numbers). Since there are three of them, fans sometimes refer to these as "The Fall: Chapter 7.7" through "The Fall: Chapter 7.777", but at least on the vinyl edition, they're all simply listed as "Chapter 7".
    • MoRT titles its songs simply "Chapter I" through "Chapter VIII". An early announcement about the album presented a track listing with more memorable titles, but there were only seven of them. This has spawned Epileptic Trees about why the songs were retitled and why the discrepancy in number.
    • 777 - Sect(s), in its physical releases, titles its songs "Epitome 01" through "Epitome 06". (These are changed to Roman numerals for digital releases.) 777 - The Desanctification gives us "Epitome VII" through "Epitome XIII" (both in physical and digital releases), and 777 - Cosmosophy gives us "Epitome XIV" through "Epitome XVIII".
    • The What Once Was songs are untitled in their physical releases (which don't even provide track listings), but digital releases simply give the songs Roman numerals for titles, starting with "I" for the first song on each release (though, for whatever reason, What Once Was... Liber II doesn't have a digital release yet).
  • Trilogy Creep: Averted with the What Once Was and Memoria vetusta series, which per Word of God were never intended to be trilogies. Future volumes of both are evidently still planned. 777, on the other hand, was planned as a trilogy and will remain such.
  • Uncommon Time: All over the place, especially on their recent recordings. It's part of what makes their sound so impenetrable. Even the more "back to basics" albums like the What Once Was series still use this trope extensively.
  • Updated Re-release: The Mystical Beast of Rebellion was later reissued with a second disc containing a three-section seventh part of the album, recorded around ten years after the first half. For a long time, The Work Which Transforms God usually came bundled with the Thematic Emanation EP, but the latest release through Debemur Morti Productions tacks on the Godflesh cover "Mighty Trust Krusher" instead.

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