Blut aus Nord is a black metal band from France, formed in 1994. This is their 7th full-length, and it is beautifully atmospheric. In terms of "black metal," this is definitely a breath of fresh air.
"Memoria Vetusta II: A Dialogue With The Stars is a magnificently produced album with justice being done to every aspect of the music, especially the riff. The riffs themselves are plenty in number and come in all shapes and sizes which swing through diverse moods and tempos. Lots of ideas are flirted with including a variety of acoustic/clean guitars parts, keyboard-heavy atmospheric melodic passages, menacing thrash-inclined chug based riffs, dissonant hanging chords and spaced out psychedelic solos along with other oddities. Doesn’t sound like the black metal you know? Don’t jump too far ahead for the core of the album is made of unsympathetic, blast-beat driven, tremolo picked riffs consisting of odd meters and an unhinged notion of darkness.
A characteristic sense of twisted melody is prevalent throughout, serving as the backbone of the album – a distinctive skill achieved by very few bands (I’m looking at you Summoning and Septic Flesh). Many purists may believe that the term ‘melodic black metal’ is a perfect example of an oxymoron. But I urge all of them to listen to Memoria Vetusta II: A Dialogue With The Stars and truly experience what ‘melodic’ black metal is all about."