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Massemord – Blut des Nordens / Contra Legem Naturae Award winner

Blut des Nordens / Contra Legem Naturae
by Gary Hernandez at 17 July 2021, 4:03 AM

MASSEMORD is as old as a vampire, at least in Black Metal years. They released their first demo in 1993 and have 16 full-length albums plus four EPs to their credit. I’m not even going to start counting singles, splits, and compilations. In late 2020 they issued “Blut des Nordens” (full-length) and on June 1, 2021, they released their EP, “Contra Legem Naturae.” On August 1, 2021, they will package these two latest releases on one CD, aptly named “Blut des Nordens / Contra Legem Naturae.”

I guess I should mention that I am talking about the Norwegian MASSEMORD and not the Polish MASSEMORD, also a Black Metal band. Despite the similar names and musical genre, these two bands do indeed occupy entirely different space. Okay, so what’s in a name? “Massemord” is Danish for “mass murderer”; “blut des Nordens” is German for “blood of the North”; and “contra legem naturae” is Latin for something like “against natural law.” Now that we got that out of the way we can get to the proper review.

Even with all the lineup changes this band has had, a 28-year pedigree means you got something to bring to the table. And damn does this band bring it. At first, I thought packaging these two albums together was either an easy way to cut distribution costs in half or just an unimaginative marketing scheme . . . and it might actually be both—but it is also a killer buy. Both of these albums are worth the asking price on their own; together it’s even better.  It’s only July, but I’m calling this combined album one of the best Black Metal albums of 2021.

Things to love about this album(s): First, the riffs scratch that itch which is so deep in your dark soul it can only be reached by volume and viscera. Second, this isn’t just an explosion of mindless riffs, this is nuanced, brilliantly composed Black Metal that builds and deconstructs and has rhythm and melody but still just kills. Third, the production values are strong but not overly polished—there’s separation but still plenty of db bleed. Fourth, every musician is so damned talented. I especially love Snuff X’s unleashed drumming. And Sicarius proves that he has more range than your stereotypical guttural vocalist. In “Runes in our Hearts,” for example, he treats us to some stirring gothic Nosferatu crooning.

There are so many great tracks on this double release. I guess I should mention “Blut des Nordens” includes six tracks and “Contra Legem Naturae,” four for a total of ten tracks and about 38 minutes of tunage. For favorite tracks I’ll go with “Leader of Those Who Were Hung,” “Wölfischer Totenmarsch” (trans: wolven death march) and “Millenial Kingdom” off of “Blut des Nordens” and “The Fuck I Want” and “The Last Lifer’s Day” off of “Contra Legem Naturae.”

I feel like I’ve been doling out a lot of high ratings so far in 2021, but maybe there’s just a lot of kick ass albums coming out this year—all that blockage from 2020 finally blasting free. Okay, maybe that was some distasteful imagery there, but you get my point. At any rate, this double release more than deserves a 10. This is the type of album that converts non-Black Metal fans to the faith and that fatally confirms those who are already damned.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1.   Intro
2.   Runes in Our Heart
3.   Leaders of Those Who Were Hung
4.   Golgotha des Nordens
5.   Wölfischer Totenmarsch
6.   Millenial Kingdom
7.   Era Vulgaris
8.   Under a Cluster of Flies
9.   The Fuck I Want
10. The Last Lifer's Day
Snuff X – Drums
Barren – Guitars
Sicarius – Vocals, bass
Record Label: Barren Records


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Edited 31 January 2023

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