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Groans in the Murk - 50%

psychoticnicholai, November 21st, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Debemur Morti Productions (Bandcamp)

Deus Salutis Meae feels like Vindsval and company trying to go back to the more demonic sounds of their experimental, quasi-industrial heyday in the early 2000's. However, the album in question doesn't capture the same kind of insidious magic that they had in those days. The style is there, but a lot of the substance is diluted and not much stands out. Sure, there isn't anything one would consider bad on here, but there's nothing of much good either. Deus Salutis Meae just feels like one long, murky journey through a musical marsh with snaking rhythms that could be doing a lot more to creep you out if they only picked up and stuck their heads above the water, alas they remained content to just slither underneath the mud, coiling around you, but never rushing dynamically, or presenting a threat.

A lot of this album only has one motive, that being to scare the piss out of you. However, it doesn't handle this as well as Blut aus Nord normally do. The soundscapes, which are often thick, rich, hellish, multilayered, bendy, and complicated on older albums, are much simpler here. On other albums, you'd have the guitars being extremely wild, going in all sorts of weird directions, changing pitch, and having much more variance to the movement of their rhythms. There was much more chaos overall. On Deus Salutis Meae, it seems like there's only one mode that most of these songs are in, which is off-time, down-tuned black metal murk with some vocals that are a distant, buried rasps. Ever so rarely, they shift to choirs. The songs involved have few dynamics and many of them sound extremely similar. Each song is usually a piece of muddy black metal that snakes around, but never does much, never picking up or going especially crazy. The whole album sticks to the same tone and never really gets a rise out of its listeners. A lot of these songs are usually examples of how much you can hear this plod on. Even if there are dynamics, they're so well hidden in this murk that I don't feel rewarded at all when I find them.

This is probably one of the weaker Blut aus Nord albums, The horror is so monotone throughout this whole album that it ceases to be terrifying and just ends up feeling drab and oppressive. The whole experience just feels too monotone for me to consider coming back to. There are a lot of times when you could get a really hellish soundscape going and Blut aus Nord just decide to keep playing at the same intensity, same tempo, and in the same tone. That makes this feel like a very flat album. Sure, it's murky, dark, and mysterious, but the layers, chaos, and insanity of something like The Work Which Transforms God are not at all present to similar amounts on Deus Salutis Meae. This album feels stretched out, and few ideas were put forward. There is something to these menacing rumbles that go on during these songs, but as a whole album, you really need more than just pure coiling darkness to lead people in. It sets a semi-workable atmosphere, but this album feels much less interesting and less detailed than anything Blut Aus Nord have released before. I am disappointed.