Review Summary: N-O-T-H-I-N-G H-U-R-T-S M-O-R-E T-H-A-N B-E-I-N-G B-O-R-N
Nachtmystium’s 2010 release Addicts: Black Meddle Pt II
opens up with a cryptic spell-off that should be an indication of what the listener is in store for. You see, if you were a fan of the bands past efforts such as Reign of Malicious
, you were most likely disappointed with the bands sudden change of under-produced black metal in favour of a more subdued black metal approach mixed with psychedelic excursions. If you were a fan of Instinct: Decay
, chances are you were very put-off by the over-excess of genre mashing and more streamlined approach to black metal that Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. I
did ever so well. And here we are with Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. II
and my whole point with the opening words “Nothing Hurts More Than Being Born” couldn’t be anymore relevant as the band finds themselves once again being reborn and further alienating most of their fan base that had a glimmer of hope the band may divert back into their black metal roots. (Un)Fortunately (depending on how you view the bands current state of sound) Nachtmystium don’t give a fly *** about how black metal ‘should be done’ and continue to race down the same road that Assassins
took, all the while further blurring the lines between genres.
One thing that should be mentioned before stepping into this album is that the album will come across as a mish-mash of songs piled together that might seem out of place when lined up next to each other. Whether this is a good thing or not, it very much does form a solid album that is equally bleak as it is fun to listen. Sure the albums first proper song opens up in a Krallice/ Drudkh-ish black metal fashion, but really and truly, the band is only teasing the listener as to what’s in store next. By the time ‘Nightfall’ rolls around, we are left wondering whether we’re listening to rock record straight out of the 70s with its rolling riffs, flowing post-punk leads and a solo that is beautifully incorporated in. While this may throw the listener off a touch, a more careful approach to the song will reveal that the band has never lost it’s black metal aesthetic and this is where the cohesion comes into play throughout the rest of the songs on the album. ‘No Funeral’ may just be the catchiest song this side of 2010, mixing a large dose of danceable electronics into the mix while still retaining a frigid feel that good black metal should convey. This continues for the remainder of the album as the band continues to wrap the nuances of black metal around electronica, 70s rock, post-punk and psychedelic excursions. While the theme throughout the album discusses the ugly lifestyle of drug addiction, it’s the music that really relays the subject to perfection. This should be credited to Sandford Parker; über producer of many notable bands and a constant fixture of sludge/ tribal masters Minsk who joined the band as a full time member in 2008, controlling all synthesizers and effects. Parker’s keyboard touches fill out each track and also add a large does of psychedelic noises to the mix, adding a more textural palette to the fuzzy riffs and thumping beats. This is where Nachtmystium shine, giving the songs a polished feel and opening up the bands sound to more possibilities in the future of where to take the black metal genre.
Nachtmystium’s sound has criss-crossed so many genres over the years that it’s no wonder they’ve pretty much pissed off most of their fan base. Addicts
will not help them gain back their original fanbase, instead attracting new ones who don’t know where to start with the genre and for people who just want to hear something different within the black metal scene. Fans of Assassins
will most likely be pleased with where Nachtmystium have gone with Addicts
and I feel that in continuing with their three part concept album theme, Addicts
fits snug within the context of their running musical theme; a band who is not afraid to take chances and is pushing the black metal genre to unimaginable heights of musical exploration.