Having signed with Century Media in 2011, Chicago based black Metal outfit Nachtmystium are now set to release their sixth full length album, 'Silencing Machine'. Although it is preceded by 2010s 'Meddle Pt.2 : Addicts', soundwise this album is more of a the follow up to 2006s 'Instinct: Decay', the feel to the albums being very similar; black Metal at the core but at times going beyond those boundaries.
There is so much I love about this album, one of them being the very versatile vocals of Blake Judd, who expresses a lot of different moods by the way he utilises his voice on the tracks. The album opens with 'Dawn Over The Ruins Of Jerusalem', which has a very traditional Nordic influenced black Metal sound, distorted fast guitars and vocal style, as does the next track 'Silencing Machine', so no complaints from me!
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'And I Control You' begins with slow, haunting distorted guitars giving the track a very atmospheric feel. It's a slower number but the vocals are much more aggressive and angry; all this gives the track a deeply sinister edge. Also in this mix is a fabulous solo that has a slightly distorted edge.
'The Lepers Of Destitution' at eight minutes is the longest track of the album and here the vocals take on a painful scream to their sound.
The beautiful 'Borrowed Hope And Broken Dreams' has a slight death/doom edge to its sound and haunting, depressive lyrics and depressive distorted vocals. The thing that left me curious was the backing vocals. I couldn't decide or discover if they were female or synthesised but they added an interesting touch.
A return to traditional black Metal styling on 'I Wait In Hell'. The tortuous edge to the vocals and plenty of tempo change making it a particularly interesting track.
'Decimation, Annihilation' has an interesting catchy down tuned rhythm to it that just chugs along, sweeping you up with it whilst the vocals abrade your mind relentlessly. Splendid!
'Reduced To Ashes' is another old school sounding black Metal track with the return of the mysterious female sounding backing vocals. I loved 'Give Me The Grave'; it's slower paced with melancholic vocals, a wonderfully reflective and depressive track; even the solo was depressive. Excellent stuff!
The final track, 'These Rooms In Which We Weep', is a slower paced blackened number with a doom laden feel and tortuous vocals, with beautiful crisp guitars interwoven in the doomy distortion. The track tails away but not without a lot of twists and turns to the tempo keeping the interest in this seven minute finale to the last distorted note. A wonderfully melancholic end to the album.
If you like black Metal you will love this excellent album. It is black at the core but encompasses so much more.
Recorded at Engine studios, Chicago and released on July 30th via Century Media.