Nachtmystium are a psychedelic black metal band from Chicago, Illinois and after fourteen years, they have announced their retirement and release of one, final, blood curdling album ‘The World We Left Behind’.
We had never heard of the band up until now and when we first heard their description, ‘Psychedelic black metal band’ we have to be honest, we had some reservations. However Nachtmystium have brought an entire new meaning to this distinctive genre that we can safely say they have made their own.
‘Intrusion’ is the first track from the album and at two minutes, forty five seconds long, we are treated to an instrumental intrusion of our Tuesday afternoon as the admittedly melodic but extremely unimaginative and average introduction, doesn’t give this record the greatest start. However ‘Fireheart’ follows on and is unexpectedly upbeat, taking off in all the right places and slowing down just the same, a much better example and understanding of why this band have got as far as they have.
‘Voyager’ stands quite the opposite from the previous two tracks and is considerably darker and oozes far more emotion and desperation but we are yet to see any kind of passion from this band. ‘Blake Judd’ on vocals is one talented gentleman but his place is lost surrounding his fellow musicians, making this song in particular sound incredibly mis-matched.
‘Into The Endless Abyss’ sends us spiralling into a metal frenzy with the pace being notched right up and introducing us to a very subtle element of sci-fi and the afformentioned ‘psychadelic’ characteristics that we were told about. In places, we heard influences from Dragonforce and at times we were bracing ourselves for an epic breakdown or insane guitar solo….but it never came. An endless abyss is exactly what this song is.
‘In The Abscense Of Existence’ is what we would call the first ballad of the record and finally, we’re appreciating the melody and euporia that surrounds this record but in a turn around of opinion, we felt that musically, this song would have been far stronger without Judd’s vocal imput.
The title track to the album ‘The World We Left Behind’ has given us high hopes since the beginning and as one of the longest songs from the record at six minutes and fifty six seconds, we were glad to say that the introduction was what we wanted it to be. Charmingly like early Papa Roach with a touch of Avenged Sevenfold percussion and weirdly, an element of Guns N’ Roses delay on the guitars but at one minute, twenty eight seconds in, all hope is lost and the songs changes rapidly into a punk song and we are left feeling both confused and well, even more confused. There are so many little sub-genre’s and ideas being plagued onto one project, that we are finding it really difficult to understand and appreciate what’s going on.
‘Tear You Down’ is another dark and deceitful track which starts off surrounded in suspense and just when you think shit’s about to go down, at least in the chorus, nothing happens and we are trapped with the same four guitar notes, repeating themselves on a painful, never changing loop.
As we almost reach the end of this album, our expectations have dramatically dropped and we’re not entirely sure what to say anymore. ‘On The Other Side’ boasts some clear ability, as have most of the songs from the record, of songwriting talent. The musical side of this song cannot be faulted and we finally see guitarist Drew Markuszewsk, bring a solo to the table and it’s one of the best solo’s we’ve heard, one better suited on stage next to Slash perhaps? The vocals on the other hand, are weak and unecessary, taking the limelight away from Markuszewsk’s talented performance.
Lastly, we have reached the ultimate end to this long-awaited final chapter in the bands career. ‘Epitpah For A Dying Star’ is an emotional ballad, elated and clouded in depravity and gloom. Vocally this song is the strongest on the entire album and musically, one of our favourites. This bringing us to the end of the road, for both the album and the band.
We really tried to enjoy this album and in places, we sincerely did. Appreciating the musical ability wasn’t the most difficult thing, trying to get a grasp on the songs as a whole, that’s where we struggled. We wish the band every luck in the future and hope to hear more from them, possibly with solo material or some bad ass collaborations but this album was definitely a testament to how good they used to be but sadly, are not anymore.