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Album Of The Month July 2008
Nachtmystium | ‘Assassins’

What a coming of age.

Nachtmystium have always posessed a certain take it or leave it cool, largely buried under impenetrable psychedelics and a general lack of recognition.

So although it’s easy to shudder, perhaps the striking cover art that we have here was indeed the right answer if it wakes people up to what they’re doing. Which is officially some superb, grown up post-BM.

They’re hardly the first, and indeed this lifts straight from Enslaved’s hallowed pages. If anything it’s a brilliant, if slightly after the fact, companion piece to the likes of ‘Isa’ and ‘Runn’. But a closer listen reveals also influences stretching back that little bit further, even as far as ‘Blodhemn’, and though there are similar lines of development, Nachmystium have at last created a sound of their own.

It must be said that opener ‘One Of These Nights’ is a bit redundant, and so is easy to overlook completely – the album surely starts instead with the whopping ‘Assassins’, whose powerful charge lays the groundwork for an entire album’s worth of filler free brilliance. American BM gets its kudos in ‘Your True Enemy’, full of the type of watery guitars and evil bends that made Xasthur and Leviathan’s sound. ‘Seasick Part 1’ may as well have been lifted from In The Woods, and begins a trilogy that references both them and even Sigh, with its occasional saxophone.

Sounds a bit eclectic? Not really. It’s straight out metal – rock even, in a surprisingly dark and accessible capacity. As well as the classics, they’ve clearly been watching the likes of small scale movers like Noekk and Sahg to see how a little 70s kitsch can infuse post BM with a little extra magic. Like Darkthrone’s recent handful of successful tracks, it isnt black metal. But it came from somewhere thereabouts, and so keeps the best of it. Add great rock, tons of atmosphere and a genuine sense of fire, and the result is a classic of an album. A superb purchase.

4.7 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 22/07/08

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