Is this the end of Nachtmystium or isn’t it? According to a recent interview with Blake Judd the end isn’t exactly nigh for the Chicgao black metal luminaries.
Regardless, if The World We Left Behind is, in fact, the last Nachtmystium album then listening to this opus is a bittersweet experience. From beginning to end it’s a reminder of not only how important and vital Nachtmystium is to the black metal scene but also the need for the scene to sometimes morph and change over time.
Assassins: Black Meddle Part I started the trend by adding elements of psychedelia and classic rock (Think Kyuss does Satyricon), Addicts: Black Meddle Part II in 2010 continued along the path while 2012’s Silencing Machine went back to basics almost erasing what had been built.
On The World That We Left Behind, however, Nachtmystium brings their sound full circle and lay everything bare. Those Assassins-style experimentations are back on not only the epic introspective lumbering beast that is “Voyager” but scattered throughout. Speaking of “introspective”, that word is a theme that runs rampant throughout The World We Left Behind touching on the tumultuous year that band leader Blake Judd experienced on almost every track.
But back to the music.
The first proper song here (“Fireheart”) is more of a rocker and less a metal affair with, dare I say, danceable drum beats? Experimentation indeed. On the other spectrum, “Into The Endless Abyss” is the blackest of black metal fusing spaced out electronics with a slamming blast beat by Sam Shroyer as Judd just fucking roars. The title track builds for a solid minute and a half to a chaotic peak and then just explodes as Judd screeches the chorus and you bang your head in solidarity. Elsewhere, the gorgeous (Yes, I used the word “gorgeous” to describe a Nachtmystium song) “Epitaph For A Dying Star” closes TWWLB with Judd’s howls of “No More Pain” set against Karla Murphy’s lush vocals amidst a sonic maelstrom of screaming guitars.
The World We Left Behind crash landed on Planet Earth today via Century Media Records. You can still get some pretty sweet package deals at CMdistro or for instant gratification, check the album out on Itunes.
Blake Judd is heading towards the abyss. Drug problems. Band turmoil. You name it, he’s got it. One thing’s for sure, though, his musical integrity is still firmly intact. Despite his recent arrest, Judd is determined to power through and give fans one last hurrah and final albums from both his black metal supergroup Twilight and his main band Nachtmystium. Both are due out next year on Century Media and the first taste of the former is “Voyager”: a tumultuous 7 minute slab of sonic excess that once again reinvents Judd’s primary outfit.
At times hearkening back to 2008’s Assassins: Black Meddle, Part 1, “Vpyager” is a promising introduction to the already titled The World We Left Behind as Judd cries “No one can ever take away this lust!” repeatedly.
The World We Left Behind is due in 2014 through Century Media. You can check out a stream of “Voyager” over on Stereogum.