(In this review, BadWolf provides his take on the new album by Chicago’s Nachtmystium.)
What does it mean when Nachtmystium, a band whose success has sprung from breaking convention, releases a return-to-form? Silencing Machine, portentous title and all, disposes of the psychedelic and dance-rock elements of its predecessors, as well as much of frontman Blake Judd’s morbid introspection. Rather, its constant aggression and meditation on worldly issues recalls more of classic Metallica and Marduk than, say, Marillion.
I will say first that Nachtmystium mean a great deal to me personally—Black Meddle‘s One (Assassins) and Two (Addicts) both saw me through great personal tumult — and second, that my favorite thing about Blake Judd and his band of crusty ne’er-do-wells is their ability to take one sound per record and twist it into several unique permutations. A good psychedelic album takes you someplace—a good Nachtmystium album takes you several places.
So when I first heard Silencing Machine, I found it toothless. Most of the songs on Silencing Machine follow the general formula of Assassins’ title track: black metal intro, transition to groove section, optional return to black metal section, end. Nothing stuck with me besides the big, juicy chorus on the title track. For the first time, Nachtmystium bored me, and I anticipate it will bore many on first listen.
I urge you to listen several times—Blake Judd writes albums that take some digging to sink in. Silencing Machine proved a compelling ride when I gave it the opportunity. This year Nachtmystium took their lessons in atmosphere and rhythm from the previous two albums and applied them to an aggro black metal template. Continue reading »