The World We Left Behind



by dragoth USER (35 Reviews)
January 30th, 2018 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Epitaph for a Dying Star...

Controversy in the black metal scene is nothing new. In a scene that worships many a murderer, psychopath, arsonist and all manner of miscreants, controversial figures rising from amongst the masses is nothing new. From this comes the story of Blake Judd (formerly Azentrius) the figure at the forefront of psychedelic black metal act Nachtmystium. It came to light around the time of this album's release that Judd had been ripping of fans and labels to support his long term heroin addiction that had come about as a result of an opioid prescription to treat a broken leg years prior. The band went on hiatus shortly after the news broke, and with their comeback in the last year, and Blake Judd now clean and in the process of repaying all the fans who were ripped off and new material on the horizon I decided to revisit their latest output ‘The World We Left Behind’.

For the sake of transparency I shall put it out there that I am a huge fan of Nachtmystium and of Blake Judd as a musician, but I will try to look at this album as objectively and un fan boy-esque as possible.*

The riffs on this album are stellar, since the early albums Judd has known how to write great riffs that stick with the listener and carry the songs. From straight up disharmonious melodies that make the listener uneasy and wary, to cleaner passages, relaxing you, to furious black metal passages and rock riffs releasing the aggression and causing furious head-banging to occur. One of the strengths of the band, that has existed for a long time, is the ability to blend between all of these styles mentioned seamlessly to keep songs interesting and varied without it seeming forced, an example of this is the song ‘Voyager’ which goes between rocking riffs, black metal passages, incredible guitar solos and acoustics seamlessly, taking the listener on an incredible journey, showcasing everything Nachtmystium have to offer. Take the following track ‘Into the Endless Abyss’ also, which begins with one of the most aggressive and powerful black metal passages Nachtmystium have written in their entire career, with malicious guitar riffs and riving drums beneath, it’s glorious, or the soaring post rock passage in the middle of the title track; with trippy Pink Floyd-esque bent notes and chords been held over individually picked harmonies and steady drums, creating a truly memorable and powerful song.

The psychedelic elements of previous releases return once again, having not been as prevalent on the more straightforward black metal album ‘Silencing Machine’, and once again they are used very effectively, taking the music to more abstract places without ever pushing it over the edge into the realm of falling apart. The expert blending of trippy sounds and elements, to strange soundscapes been blended with the aggressive vitriol of black metal and the bleak rasp of Blake Judd’s vocals all coming together to create a unique blend that is totally Nachtmystium, a great example would be the opening of the album’s title track, which includes a quirky synth beat over the top of a classic black metal chord picking riff, before diving into the meat of the song with choral voices backing the tremolo passage. These out of the blackened box elements are what makes Nachtmystium such an interesting band to follow, as each album will bring in new elements and ideas, from the psychedelia of ‘Assassins’, to the industrial soundscapes of follow up ‘Addicts’. This album is no different, revisiting the psychedelia of previous outings, with more post-rock riffs, but more streamlined than on previous albums, the album even flirts with dance beats, such as on ‘Fireheart’, which includes a such a moment, the post-punkish beat acting to keep the track moving forward.*

Lyrically this album deals mainly with the story of Blake Judds’ addiction, recovery and endings (at the time this was to be the ending of Nachtmystium). Whilst I don’t find the lyrics to be anywhere near as self-pitying/emo or generally poor as other reviewers have slated them as being (I think it would be difficult to write a personal album on such themes without coming across a bit self-pitying) I wouldn’t say they were the best I’ve ever read, but they don’t hinder the tracks in any way. Vocally Judd implements his typical raspy roar that has been present since ‘Instinct: Decay, whilst he doesn’t have the range of other frontmen he does have the emotion and power backing his performance, which creates a memorable display, from low roars, to higher shrieks and intense, menacing whispers, he brings his all (for a demonstration of all of these styles see ‘Tear You Down’ even throws in an evil laugh for good measure), and all the while he remains more discernible than other vocalists, meaning you can understand more of what he says without a lyric booklet.*

If I was to speak of the downsides of this album, the main issue I would find is that some of the song go on too long, with some of the riffs dragged out to the point of exhaustion where another riff could have been used instead, or the song could have been wrapped up with no loss to the overall experience.

Overall, ‘The World We Left Behind’ is not the best album Nachtmystium have ever released, but it is up there, bringing everything a fan of the band could wish for, and should be heralded as a fantastic psychedelic black metal album, with catchy and powerful songs and memorable passages to boot. Would recommend to any fan of the band, or any black metal fan looking to get into one of the best, most innovative and creative USBM acts out there. Let’s just hope that they can keep it up now that they have returned, and that Blake Judd’s new clean lifestyle sticks, would be a loss to the scene to see such a talent go to waste.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
January 30th 2018


I remember this being pretty eh.

January 30th 2018


Never heard this one, but this band is super underrated in general tbh.

Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2018


psychedelic black metal sounds like my cup of tea.

January 30th 2018


Great band. Hopefully the new EP will deliver.

January 30th 2018



March 19th 2022


Album Rating: 3.5

Underrated, almost a 4 in my book. Lifelover did this better though

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