Nachtmystium – Instinct: Decay

nachtmystium_072306_instincAs Nachtmystium reaches deep into the heart of creative evolution, each passing album takes on more of an adventurous presence. “Instinct: Decay” has shed a few more layers of the confining skin often found hanging from cult black metal’s tattered bones, and for it, there is a noticeable sense of artistic freedom found on this album that is exciting and ultimately memorable. Azentrius and crew hold on to a few staples of the BM genre of course, but drape this dissonant sound and overall sense of depression with even more harmony and memorable song structures/hooks that bare similarities to the rock world, as the band initially explored on the excellent “Eulogy IV”. Skillfully paced tempos allow the riffs to firmly take root while the bands use of an e bow gives the guitars a haunting violin persona, urging Nachtmystium to explore new avenues of sound and atmosphere. These vibrant tones diabolically lurk over the top of riff bloated foundations and this thoughtful sculpting of sound really gives “Instinct: Decay” a pleasing 3 dimensional body. Azentrius’ screams remain tortured and weathered by the harsh elements found in life, but my only complaint on this album is that his performance can become a bit lost in the swirling layers of the overall mix. If only his reverb soaked tales of personal hardships were a notch or 2 louder, I think the overall impact of this album would be even more vicious as it is hypnotic. Production pickiness aside, I say keep on pushing those boundaries Nachtmystium… your new path of exploration has thus far been an inspired and impressive journey into other ideas and musical genres that will in the long run breathe new life into the lungs of hell.

Lastly, Battle Kommand/Drakkar has also re-issued the self-titled Nachtmystium MCD that was initially released by Regimental Records back in 2003. This long out of print, 6 track disc features updated/slightly different artwork and was produced and engineered by Akhenaten from Judas Iscariot. The sound and feel of this release remains true to the Nachtmystium aesthetic, but is the only time the band featured a different singer. Regardless, excellent underground US black metal has been made available for the masses who initially missed the onslaught the first time around and refuse to dish out the $$ on ebay. This MCD also contains the bands rendition of Judas Iscariot’s “Gaze Upon Heaven in Flames”. – Marty


~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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