You can’t talk about new Nachtmystium music without first talking about Blake Judd. The frontman and vocalist of the band. In case you’ve been living under a rock since 2013, Judd conducted fraudulent business practices that saw fans, bandmates and labels all suffer because of a heroin addiction.
To say his life spiralled out of control is an understatement as Nachtmystium disbanded, the label dropped them and he ended up living in a homeless shelter. Judd entered a drug rehabilitation centre in October 2015 and began to get his life back together. In 2016 Earache Records would release a new compilation album. Entitled Retox: Remixes and Rarities and Judd uploaded a copy of the album onto YouTube for fans to stream for free.
He released the following statement: “Thank you all for your patience and I do hope to make things right with everyone I can who fell victim to my addiction issues by not receiving orders for music or merchandise. I intend on giving away every single record and CD I receive of these reissues, if that’s what it takes, to make things right with the fans whom I wronged and did not fulfill orders for.”
Judd announced Nachtmystium would reunite to perform two live shows in 2017 and work on new studio material. Resilient is the first new material from the band since 2014’s The World We Left Behind and is out now via Prophecy Productions.
Nothing can forgive the pain and damage that Judd caused. Whatever the motivations, the whole sorry event doesn’t sit well. However everyone deserves a second chance and Resilient is an opportunity for Judd and Nachtmystium to start again.
Alongside Judd, the new incarnation of Nachtmystium is made up of bassist Martin von Falkenstein and drummer Jean-Michel Graffio. They open the EP with a fairly pointless minute and a half of gothic noise before the title track singles the proper start.
Black metal at its core, Nachtmystium layer the track with distorted guitars and synthy soundscapes that sit nicely behind Judd’s throaty rasp. It’s pretty appealing stuff with just a touch of the post-black metal about it and the double-pedal drumming really works.
It slows down for a softer lone guitar melodious end with some nicely haunting effects to close the track out.
The tempo is higher for Silver Lanterns, a track that old-school Nachtmystium fans will feel more comfortable with. There’s a franticness to the rhythm but the lead guitar’s sombre tone is what really stands out here. The best song on the EP especially as it is followed by the head-scratching and monotone Desert Illumination. Dreamy synth and slow melody with clean vocals is quite the opposite to what we’ve experienced so far. While this isn’t too bad, the latter half of the track is where it falls apart.
The black metal side of the music takes over as the guitars turn it up a notch but it is pretty repetitive.
Resilient has some good stuff on it but it’s hard to really judge just where Nachtmystium are at in 2018 based off just three tracks. Both the title track and Silver Lanterns show promise though.
Nachtmystium – Resilient Full Track Listing:
3. Silver Lanterns
4. Desert Illumination
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Resilient is available via all major streaming services.
Nachtmystium - Resilient (Lupus Lounge)
The Final Score - 6/10