Saturday, August 2, 2014
Nachtmystium: "The World We Left Behind"
The good news is Nachtmystium isn't breaking up, the bad is they are now a studio project only so don't expect Blake and the boys swinging through your town anytime soon. The fate of the band had been in limbo, as Judd went through some personal issues leading him to seek out recovery. So this album carries some of the emotional turmoil of that time in his life and marks a new chapter for both Judd and the band. The opener is more of an instrumental intro as it goes from a more ambient chilling shadow of black metal to a galloping riff."Fireheart" does contain more of the classic elements, though once of the classic elements to the band is to constantly evolve so their classic elements really depend on what era we are talking about. There are still the swirls of psychedelics giving you ears a contact high.
"Voyager" stays the course being both epic and dark, still lingering in the almost depressive side of what the Silencing Machine" did but still with more experimentation and a return to some of the more hooky vocal arrangements. Judd doesn't really scream or growl ,but has a raspier take on what Venom once did. The guitars contrast this by being more melodic than ever. There are also no sprawling space jams like there were on Assassins, the longest song is the 8 and a half minute "Into the Endless Abyss" which is also one of the albums first undeniably blasty black metal moments. The chant of the immortal hell into this mortal hell , gives me something more to latch onto,
There is a transcendent feel to "In the Absence of Existence". The riff drones on into a more soaring place, which is a formula that works well for Judd. There is a beautiful moment of creepy chaos at the beginning of the title track that I'm sure sums up where Judd's mind was during the time of this recording. It also has more experimentation that what the album has offered thus far. The guitars continue to strike out on even more melodic territory than previous releases , almost moving into an Alcest direction.
"Tear You Down" ...which is featured below, is also melodic but in a much darker manner. The vocals take on more of a whisper to create a much creepier sonic space. It transitions back in a more traditional metal approach before going back into it's creepy place. There is almost a post-punk feel to the beginning of "On the Otherside" it succeeds in hitting that place of being sonically layered as well as metal.
The female vocals on the final track were a surprise , it stays it the almost shoe gaze like sway many of the other songs have flirted, but in the first few minutes this could easily be a song by the Gathering, until Judd's rasp comes in.
I will go ahead and round this up to a 10, it may not be the sort of black metal you expect if you are a an of the band's earlier work , but most fans who have followed the band's evolution will not find the direction thuis albums goes in to be a shock at all. In fact its the next logical step away from the last album.