Blut Aus Nord (French: blut o nɔʁ, German: bluːt aʊs nɔʁt) is a black metal band from Mondeville, Calvados, France, which has incorporated avant-garde elements in its music.
Vindsval began a solo project, under the name "Vlad", in 1994. He released two demos before changing the project's name to Blut aus Nord, before the release of Ultima Thulée in 1995. The next three albums were recorded with the aid of session musicians. It is only recently that the group has had any permanent members apart from Vindsval.
The project's most critically acclaimed release is The Work Which Transforms God, a concept album which, in spite of being mostly instrumental with none of the lyrics made public, is meant to challenge the listener's prejudices and preconceptions about reality and various metaphysical subjects. The album was named by Terrorizer Magazine as one of its top 10 albums of 2003. So far, Vindsval has only allowed the lyrics from one of Blut aus Nord's full-length releases, Memoria Vetusta I, to be made public. According to journalist Avi Pitchon, "Blut Aus Nord are responsible, perhaps more so than any band, for the most recent evolution within black metal. 2003's 'The Work Which Transforms God' introduced us to the warped, collapsing mutation of 'black hole metal'; nowadays also called shoegazing BM."
Vindsval is head of the underground French record label Appease Me..., which is home to several extreme metal acts, in addition to Blut aus Nord.
On their follow-up release, 2006's MoRT, Blut aus Nord moved even further away from traditional black metal. The sound on MoRT is closer to experimental metal, comprising a mixture of dark and surreal noises and sounds that create a disturbing and bleak atmosphere.
Blut aus Nord's 2007 album Odinist: The Destruction of Reason by Illumination (the subtitle being a quote from Aleister Crowley), was leaked to the Internet on September 10, 2007. While the album's superficial sound is similar to that of MoRT, the album demonstrates a return to more traditional black metal songwriting and structure.
The sequel to Memoria Vetusta I, subtitled Dialogue with the Stars, was released in February 2009. In June 2010 they released a LP entitled "What Once Was...Liber I" on Debemur Morti Productions. They are currently scheduled to re-release The Mystical Beast of Rebellion in early 2011 thru Debemur Morti with an additional CD of newly recorded material meant to act as a complimentary work to the original.
The name "Blut aus Nord" translates from German as "Blood from the North", though the non-standard grammar suggests nautical jargon (a more standard phrasing would be "Blut aus (dem) Norden" or "Blut von Nord(en)," though cardinal directions are seldom used in spoken German to begin with).
Musical style and conceptual elements:
Blut Aus Nord's work has been described as the "sonic equivalent to Thorns injecting Streetcleaner-era Godflesh with an evil unpredictability". Vindsval, the vocalist and guitarist, made the following statement:
Blut Aus Nord is an artistic concept. We don't need to belong to a specific category of people to exist. If black metal is just this subversive feeling and not a basic musical style, then Blut Aus Nord is a black metal act. But if we have to be compared to all these childish satanic clowns, please let us work outwards from this pathetic circus. This form of art deserves something else than these mediocre bands and their old music composed 10 years before by someone else.
BAN have dissociated themselves from nationalism, instead recognizing a kinship with "environmentalist black metal" groups such as Wolves in the Throne Room.
Vindsval - vocals, guitar (also in: Children of Maani, The Eye),
W.D. Feld - drums, electronics, keyboards,
GhÖst - bass guitar,
Ogat - session bass on Ultima Thulee,
Ira Aeterna - session bass on Fathers of the Icy Age,
Taysiah - session vocals on The Work Which Transforms God,
Nahaim - session guitar on The Work Which Transforms God