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Blut aus Nord by the Numbers - 61%

psychoticnicholai, June 18th, 2017

Odinist is a continuation of the style heard on The Work Which Transforms God and turns away from the winding chaos that is MoRT. This is an album that just feels comfortable where it is, a bit too comfortable. It sounds more simple and streamlined than previous BaN efforts. There isn't as much of an effort to reach the heights of hellishness that were seen on the past two albums, and instead we hear something that just feels like a beta version of The Work Which Transforms God. While this is satisfactory for Blut aus Nord, ultimately this feels like that and nothing more.

Everything that Blut aus Nord is known for is here and done as expected. The winding, distorted guitar storms and the industrial wasteland atmosphere are both here as they would be on any other Blut aus Nord album. The problem here is that they aren't utilized with the same tenacity, and the only song with much distinction is the solemn and icy title track. Every other song just sort of comes and goes without distinguishing itself, sort of like watching a graduation ceremony when nobody you care about is getting called up and graduating. The sheer mind-bending hell that other albums would put you through never comes out in full on Odinist. In addition to only being "a little" brutal, it's also only "a little" atmospheric in that the atmosphere is there, but never feels as thick, oppressive, or engrossing as before. The riffs, drums, and dirges feel like something they've done before, but with less zeal and without any kind of riff or atmospheric piece taking center stage. It's okay as an album and nothing is really done wrong, but not enough is done right and it feels like TWWTG running on half-throttle.

The reason I rate this lower than something totally atonal and almost unmusical like MoRT is due to the fact that that album has something that Odinist doesn't, purpose. MoRT is thick, soupy dread in ambient audio form, great for terrifying people and creating a aura of filth and decay. The Work Which Transforms God was an album that pushed distortion and apocalyptic atmosphere to its peak and gave us some songs that are rarely ever touched on terms of terror and quality. Odinist just felt like more of the same without the same amount of otherworldly fury, like a simpler, more streamlined version of older material. It resembles what I imagine what a bunch of "standard Blut aus Nord" tracks would sound like. When dealing with a band known for being one of the heights of strangeness, having songs described as regular isn't a good sign. While it is satisfactory in many ways, and will likely satiate fans, I don't see Odinist as sticking with Blut aus Nord or their listeners very much.