Congratulations to Blake Judd, the music industry’s biggest troll. After announcing a few months back that Nachtmystium were due to disband and upcoming opus ‘The World We Left Behind’ would be their swansong, music writers the world over were clamouring to write the best send-off review the world has ever seen. However, on July 31st Metal Sucks reported Judd as saying “I have decided not to end Nachtmystium”, his reasons being, “Now that I have had a good nine months to clean myself up as far as my drug problem goes, and have regrouped mentally and made a new life for myself, I’ve been able to really think about what I’m doing and where I’m going with music. Due to the immense amount of feedback I have received from fans on our Facebook page telling me how sad they were that I was bringing the band to an end, I decided that ending the band was not what needed to happen in order to live a new life. I just reprioritized how the band is going to be present in my life, and I have also decided that I will no longer be touring at all. But just hanging up the name, all the momentum and success I’ve had with the band doesn’t seem logical to me now that I have had time to do everything I’ve mentioned.” This statement has been the cause of frustration for many, part way through reviews, who are sure to have hurled keyboards as well as angry words.
Nachtmystium’s continuation may not seem like such a grand idea after a few spins of this record, however. The sound and atmosphere harks back to the days of the ‘Black Meddle’ albums which is a refreshing change when pitted against the electronic parping of previous opus ‘Silencing Machine’. There are some genuinely great moments on ‘The World We Left Behind’ – ‘Fireheart’ is heavily reminiscent of ‘Assassins’ track ‘Your True Enemy’ while ‘Voyager’ is packing atmosphere, even if the lyrical content is rather self-pitying.
A couple of decent tracks simply aren’t enough to create an outstanding album though, and the vast majority of songs on this release are dripping in teenage angst, while the accompanying synths could almost be mistaken for the tiniest violins in the entire world. Closing track ‘Epitaph for a Dying Star’ attempts to reach toward the morose closer that was ‘Every Last Drop’ on ‘Addicts’ but falls short in its flaccid attempt, leaving the listener to ponder what on earth the shrieking was about on the latter half of the song.
Consistency is key when trying to put your point across and Judd is lacking in every respect, from the decision of whether to call it quits or not, to the tracks on this album, he’s made a poor show of striving for redemption, both musically and personally. Let’s take from this a positive though; with Nachtmystium continuing on its musical journey it gives Blake the chance to atone for this offering of blandness. Be thankful this isn’t the last we’ll hear from them too, as this would essentially be the musical equivalent of cutting a fart then quickly leaving the room.
(6/10 Angela Davey)