It’s been a long and fucked up ride for U.S. black metal experimentalists Nachtmystium…

A band whose “Black Meddle” has won critical acclaim, but whose leader has courted controversy and divided opinion. But no matter on how you feel about Blake Judd, here, it’s all about the music.

Although the bands “final” album in 2014, ‘The World We Left Behind’ seemed lacklustre and unfocussed, Judd has returned with a new line-up, delivering a sound more akin to the claustrophobic vibe of their stunning ‘Silencing Machine’ album. A fresh start with a fresh band, and despite Judd’s desire to push genre boundaries, the overall sound is still unmistakably Nachtmystium.

‘Resilient’ is made up of 4 tracks (well, 3 proper), with a set of live bonus material, and though the new songs may cover the same ground thematically as their swan song full-length, the result is far more satisfying. But in amongst the sense of resurrection and hope, the darkness and paranoia still invade the proceedings.

Starting with the brief drone of ‘Conversion’, the pain, trauma and turmoil is apparent, before the mid-paced metallic crawl of ‘Resilient’ kicks in. Back to the darker sound, less free-wheeling than ‘…World…’, this is Nachtmystium sounding bleakly vital again, with Judd’s current state of mind pushed to the fore. The end section opens up, doomy, but welcoming at the same time.

‘Silver Lanterns’ lets rip with double kick, pacey riffs, and that familiar rasp, but still retains a considered knack of melding atmospheres and tempo with Judd’s barking stream of consciousness.

“Black Meddle” comes into play for ‘Desert Illumination’. A stoner vibe, with bongos no less! A track that could sound at home on either ‘Assassins’ or ‘Addicts’, before its relentless heavy gallop rides into the distance.

As Blake Judd states on this record, “…the journey continues…”

Although the E.P.’s bonus disc was not available for review, the few tracks that make up ‘Resilient’ are a great promise of things (hopefully) to come, and if you like Nachtmystium…you will like this. Simple.

(8/10 Stuart Carroll)