While not as elusive of the public eye as their fellow Frenchmen Deathspell Omega, the members of Blut Aus Nord have nonetheless remained enigmatic through their project’s tenure, preferring to let the music speak for itself. And while their 2003 opus The Work Which Transforms God is still hailed by many today as the band’s essential work, the group has put out what is their most diverse, challenging and spiritually fulfilling album in Cosmosophy, the majestic conclusion to the 777 trilogy, which began with 2011’s Sect(s) and The Desanctification.
Built around five “epitomes” that span black metal, metalgaze, doom and electronic, Cosmosophy is not by any means “orthodox” black metal—not that Blut Aus Nord was ever content to limit itself to that myopic realm—but it finds these French provocateurs pushing themselves closer and closer to the edge of the form. The Nine Inch Nails influence on “Epitome XV” would have been near possible to imagine back in the earliest days of the band, yet it isn’t at all out of place. In a move that might be a source of chagrin for some diehard fans, the harshest aspects of black metal (blastbeats, screams and shrill guitars) are hardly present here, but what’s always been most important about Blut Aus Nord is its mystical spirituality, which is in full force on Cosmosophy. Much like how they transformed God, they continue to transform themselves.