Look at that picture. Seriously, stop reading these worthless scrawlings and LOOK UP THERE. The artwork associated with Blut Aus Nord records has always kicked a certain amount of ass, but a trio of sculptures depicting humans in various anguished poses sprouting branches from every which limb? Genius. Pile on the hand-headed snakes and chaotic downward growths of the album's cover and what's inside had better be awesome, right? As with the third section of any trilogy worth its weight in Roman numerals, Cosmosophy isn't a great point of entry to Blut Aus Nord's sprawling 777 opus. The first installment, Sect(s), was twisted black metal all the way to the hilt, albeit a very Blutified version. The Desanctification came next and damned all post-apocalypse human life to monstrous, dismal torment. Now Cosmosophy in turn damns the monsters themselves to a miserable starvation when all human flesh has been used up. Far from sounding tired and repetitive, however, Blut Aus Nord turn in an invigorated performance of oddly perfect percussion, French chanting, full-voiced clean vocals, and chords so sharp you don't even realize how deep they cut you until you notice your soaked in your own heart-dark blood.
But what was it that Geordi La Forge said when he ditched his visor for a kids' literacy program? "Don't take my word for it!" Here's Cosmosophy in its entirety. If there's one French, Godflesh-inspired avant garde finale to a black metal trilogy that you hear this year, make it this one.