Review Summary: Verdict: Awesome
Since their formation in 2000, Nachtmystium have gone on a tear of releasing albums. They have released 12 albums since then, but none have been more prominent than their latest release: Instinct: Decay. Finally catching the attention of an international audience with this album, Nachtmystium went on tour with 1349 in the spring. Nachtmystium release Instinct: Decay through Battle Kommand Records, which is lead man Azentrius' label, but they have recently been signed to Century Media. What makes Nachtmystium such an interesting and unique band is that they incorporate psychedelic elements into their black metal sound. This makes for one of the most intriguing sounds that I've heard in a while. This sound creates the exceedingly wonderful album that is Instinct: Decay.
The album starts off with the song Instinct which is a combination of ambient sounds and seemingly random guitar noises. However, this song is just a platform for the oncoming assault. As soon as you think "Wow, this band is weird." WHAM. The double bass pedals kick in with a punctuated scream of "AH" from Azentrius. This song is 'A Seed For Suffering' it is one of my favorite songs on the album. The guitar riff and drumming at around 1:00 cooperate perfectly to form a great song. Then all of the sudden, when you think the rest of the song will carry on with the usual blast beats and trem-picked riffs, an acoustic interlude breaks in leading into an emotional solo that carries you into another world. All of these parts and one more make up Nachtmystium's great sound. The missing part is Azentrius' orgasmic vocals.
Speaking of vocals. I'm not sure if it's just because I saw Nachtmystium live and witnessed the awesome power of Azentrius, but for some reason I just can't get over how incredibly powerful they are for me. His screams encompass all the evil of humanity and form it into a battle axe with which to blow you away with. This may be a side product of the production, which fits perfectly in with the album. The production is clear enough to make out exactly what the riffs sound like, but still has a certain density in it that makes for excellent black metal production.
Nachtmystium is full of surprises and comes after the listener with a vengeance. No two of their songs sound alike. From bass intros to catchy drum riffs, Nachtmystium keeps the surprises coming throughout the album and will easily manage to keep any listener interested for many times through the album. This album will easily give you anywhere from 20-100 plays through it. I've been through it almost 40 times now and the only real complaint I have is that some of the songs seem somewhat formulated in the way they are set up. However, Nachtmystium has so many tricks up their sleeve that it doesn't matter how formulated the songs become, they still convey emotion through solos, great guitar riffs, orgasmic vocals, and solid drumming throughout the album.
A Seed For Suffering:
This song just blasts you in the face in the beginning and sets the mood for the entire album with it's random surprises and great variety.
Chosen by No One:
Starting off with a sweet bass line and excellent drumming, this song becomes one of the cooler sounding and catchy songs of the whole album.
Here's to Hoping:
I really don't know what it is about this song that makes it so great. It conveys a great, evil tone when you can clearly hear Azentrius scream "I want to be the hands around your throat." This song is my favorite by far on the album.