Label: Century Media
Release date: July 30, 2012
Black metal holds a special place in the black shriveled husk I call my heart. The shrieked vocals, the crusty guitars and blast beat drums are all things that draw me to the unholy sound. However the one thing that irks me about the genre is the reluctance of many within the it to experiment and innovate. Often those that step outside the confines of the black metal sound are often disparaged as not kvlt, or sell-outs.
Nachtmystium is one band that is more often than not accused of not being kvlt. The band’s lead sing Blake Judd has never been one to confine his writing to the clearly defined tenets of black metal. The band’s first album Instinct Decay was well received but many of its critics complained that the album wasn’t true black metal. As if to offer the black metal community a big middle finger, Nachmystium then crafted a two album arc which pushed the boundaries of black metal even further. Assassins: Black Meddle and Addicts: Black Meddle 2, drew inspiration from a diverse palate of musical genres.
When it was announced that Nachtmystium would be releasing a new album in 2012, many wondered were the band would take their sound. For many, myself included, it was a shock when Silencing Machine was released and was for the large part a return to a sound closer to their debut Instinct: Decay.
“Dawn over the Ruins of Jerusalem” establishes just what this album is all about, blistering and unrelenting black metal. The album rarely pauses to give the listener a breath.
The album’s title track speeds on much like the opener, but gives way to an almost bluesy groovy stomp. “I Control You” is doomy dirge that gives the album balance. The record’s most experimental track, “Decimation, Annihilation” has moments of punk bounce thanks to Will Lindsay’s bassline, and industrial undercurrents courtesy of keyboard and sound wizard Sanford Parker. “Given to the Grave” is easily my favorite track on the album: The driving bass line, and catchy as hell chorus make it an unforgettable track.
If traditional black metal can be characterized as the unholy sound of Satan, then one could describe Nachtmystium’s music as the sound of urban decay and society falling apart. Silencing Machine shows a band that has come full circle. This album also makes a good starting point for interested listeners. So head out and pick it up. And as always, support extreme music!