Nachtmystium
Assassins: Black Meddle Pt.1


2.0
poor

Review

by Tyler Munro EMERITUS
July 14th, 2008 | 73 replies | 16,104 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Psychedelic Bl...Whack Metal

Looking at the US black metal scene […] Wolves in the Throne Room […] atmosphere, but Nachtmystium's Instinct: Decay[…] psychedelic slant unlike Xasthur blablabla suicide blablabla…

I sometimes wish I could feign excitement for the US black metal scene. Sometimes I think I'll get there, but for every Wolves in the Throne Room there's about twelve Xasthur's. Somewhere in between the potent and the ridiculous sit Nachtmystium, a band who broke through the barrier with Instinct: Decay, a surprisingly strong black metal outing that featured a unique psychedelic slant. It was, by all accounts, a success. But so goes the trend, because their long awaited follow-up is intensely disappointing. Instinct: Decay is to The Empire Strikes back what this album is to The Phantom Menace. This album is, of course, the abhorrently titled Assassins: Black Meddle Pt.1--evidently their band name wasn't ridiculous enough.

The way things open up, you'd expect this to be a half-way decent album. "One Of These Nights" does in fact start Assassins: Black Meddle Pt.1 off with a bang--a short-lived bang that's eradicated come the song's ultra ridiculous, hyper-gloriously ill-fitting sing-along. It takes just one song for the band's ever-present "don't call us black metal" ideology to take precedent. Nachtmystium seem to be more concerned with breaking down genre-walls than writing cohesive, listenable music, a thought that's amplified upon realizing that about 75% of the album is an unassuming, forgettable mess. Nachtmystium spend much of the album treading water, wading between fuzzy, aimless meanderings and uninteresting black metal conventions. When they start to stray, they're aurally assaulting the listener with unwelcome bouts of "psychedelia" and "diversity", something that snowballs into the Seasick trilogy of tracks, none more offensive than "Seasick Part II: Oceanborn", a track comprised exclusively of laser noises, saxophones and a technically impressive but thematically confusing barrage of Al Di Meola circa Elegant Gypsy guitar leads.


Before you know it you're listening to "Seasick Part III: Silent Sunrise" and the album is fading out without warning. And really, that's the problem. I could pardon some of the more ridiculous inclusions if it weren't for the fact that the album goes absolutely nowhere. After nearly a dozen spins, I fail to remember anything but the intrusive saxophone and the ill-advised shanty-town choruses, which ultimately result in about 90% of the album being absolutely forgettable 100% of the time. What's worse is the parts I can remember are the one's I'd pay to forget. To beat a dead horse for a moment, it's worth noting Bruce Lamont (of Yakuza "fame") and his work on the saxophone. Working alongside avant-weirdo metal band Sigh on their psychedelic romp Gallows Gallery, Lamont's sax playing worked in the context of the music. On Assassins: Black Meddle Pt.1, Lamont's playing comes off as intrusive--not because it doesn't fit in the frame of the song, but because there doesn't seem to be a song to frame it. It's a feeling that carries throughout, the feeling that this album at times exists solely to separate the band from the scene they so clearly fall within. Even the insultingly unfunny title hints that these guys, regardless of their obvious black metal foundation, are keener on ridiculing and defacing the genre as opposed to accepting their sound and creating something special within it. Assassins: Black Meddle Pt.1 is either plainly forgettable or obnoxiously intrusive, and barring the occasional blues flair, saying it misses the mark would be a gross understatement. Instinct: Decay proved there were still stones left unturned within a genre often noted for it's primal, almost frustrating simplicity, and while Assassins: Black Meddle Pt.1 may not lower the band to Xasthur-ian levels of suck, it almost makes me wish they'd adopt Malefic's suicidal tendencies. Then, and perhaps only then, can the fears of hearing Black Meddle Pt. 2 be laid to Wrest.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Smileyface
July 14th 2008



309 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

do u get the deep meaning behind the album?

i dont think u do.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 14th 2008



7924 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Listening to this album is a chore. Review reflects that, and probably scopes it as something lower than a 2. That being said it isnt without merit, you'll just have a fun time finding it. First review in a long while, I'm sure it's obvious. That blurb at the beginning was actually my original intro but I decided to put a little more effort into it.
Kudos for Eliminator for helping me work in a suicide joke.

Wizard
July 14th 2008



18757 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shut up Smileyface.

Nice little review of this album Coke. Despite your negative views towards this album, I will check it out anyways along with Instinct: Decay (which seems to get the praise around here).

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

Tyler
Emeritus
July 14th 2008



7924 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Please don't check it out. This album is like a fourth rate Sigh knockoff minus the talent and energy to make it interesting. It's just awful.

Wizard
July 14th 2008



18757 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I give everything at least one listen ;). Your protective measures are appreciated!

Essence
July 14th 2008



3556 Comments


I do not think Sigh deserves getting compared to this rubbish. Good review as always.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 14th 2008



7924 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I wasn't comparing them, I was saying that this album reminds me, at times, of a cheap Sigh knockoff, one that lacks poise, focus and direction. It was an easy reference point because the saxophonist is on both album.

rasputin
July 14th 2008



14504 Comments


Great review. I was tempted to download this after I saw it in a few lists a while ago, but I won't bother.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 14th 2008



7924 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Just listen to Instict: Decay and pretend this doesn't exist. With this review done, that's what I plan on doing.

iamthenightmare
July 14th 2008



754 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

such a disappointment of an album.
but the most disappointing thing is that you know Black meddle pt2 is gonna be just as bad or worse.

maybe they have 1 more good cd left in em, but prolly not

masscows
July 14th 2008



2236 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

haha great review

Essence
July 15th 2008



3556 Comments


No, no, you misunderstand. I was merely stating that Sigh is such a great band that I feel they are (or should be) above being compared to music like this. (or even being used as a reference point)

I understand they had the same saxophonist... I was just sayin' Sigh is amazing.This Message Edited On 07.14.08

VicariousIntent
July 15th 2008



1591 Comments


Humorous summery, and review in general. Needless to say I won't be checking this out, as I'm not a black metal fan to begin with.

SHOOTME
July 15th 2008



2393 Comments


Great review, awful sounding album.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 15th 2008



3995 Comments


I don't know much about this band but I'm willing to bet they suck hard considering my feelings about Sigh and Yakuza (and pitchfork I suppose).

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2008



17911 Comments


awesome

Silenius
July 15th 2008



302 Comments


When you add sax to [metal] guitar bass and drums bad things tend to happen...

ilikemusicthatsucks
July 15th 2008



1063 Comments


Weezer is better than this.

foreverendeared
July 15th 2008



14678 Comments


because that comparison is completely validThis Message Edited On 07.15.08

BallsToTheWall
July 15th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Metalreview seems to really enjoy this album, yet sputnik hates it. In this situation I guess I can't take anybodys opinion but have to listen to for myself.



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