posted on 12/2005 By:
If you consider yourself a Black Metal fan, and you haven’t gotten yourself acquainted with Wheaton, Illinois’ Nachtmystium, it’s time to wake up and smell the brimstone. After three full-lengths, two splits, two EP’s, and two live albums, founding member, Azentrius, has certainly made his mark on the USBM scene. To the passing Black Metal fans’ ear, this project may seem like many others who’ve already burned a path through the forest, but there’s much more behind this man’s dark vision. What sets Nachtmystium apart from the rest of the heap, is the level of misery that’s conveyed through Azentrius’ caterwauling vocals, and the genuinely bereaved nature of his songwriting. Demise, Nachtmystium’s third full-length venture, is a perfect example of this. For those keeping score at home, this is actually a re-release of this album, which was initially birthed through Autopsy Kitchen Records in 2003 as a digipak (sold out). AKR has since re-released this fine endeavor in a jewel case, featuring color graphics, but no extra musical content.
A pertinent quote regarding the album from Azentrius himself:
“Demise is definitely a landmark for the end-of-an-era for Nachtmystium. This was our last straightforward ‘raw black metal’ record. I was trying to create atmospheres and feelings similar to that of classic albums such as Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Abyssic Hate’s Suicidal Emotions, two albums that have been a big influence on lots of the early Nachtmystium works. I knew that Demise would be our last album that was strictly written in this vein, so I did my best to make it all that it could be”. (From the Aeternitas Tenebrarum Music Foundation interview in 7/05, by Delirium)
The question is, does Demise reach the lofty goal Azentrius set for himself? You bet yer fuckin’ bippy it does. From the moment Demise begins, to the moment it sadly ends, this work drags the listener through the dirtiest of dirt. No matter how jovial a mood I might (miraculously) find myself in, if I pop this disc in the player I’m sure to fall into a more somber, morose state. It’s a hopeless, dismal pill, just right for the popping when you’re tired of being surrounded by people filled with holiday cheer. “Scorpio Incarnate” and “Rise and Fall” give heavy nods towards early Burzum, with their relentless, hypnotizing rhythm, while tracks like “Solitary Voyage” and “The Glorious Moment” attack with more of a ‘romping’ Black Metal flair. Also on display throughout Demise is the fine battery work of Wargoat Obscurum of fellow American Black Metallers, Cult of Daath. His addition to the album gives it the extra punch of life that would otherwise be sorely missing if someone of lesser talent were used in his stead. The album closes with an 8-minute noise piece that features strange fluttering distortions and feedback, leaving the listener with a fine tumultuous buzz.
So, is this truly Nachtmystium’s last plunge into the ‘raw’ Black Metal genre? I suppose it’s not wise to say never, but it certainly seems that way. Since the release of Demise, we’ve seen the tasty riff-riddled EP, Eulogy IV, which follows a completely new path for Azentrius, and apparently there’s a new full length waiting to touch ground in January of ’06, via Drakkar Productions. It’ll be quite interesting to see what's in store for fans. In the meantime, if you like your Black Metal dirty, dark, and dismal, you’d be foolish not to investigate Demise.
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