Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Nachtmystium: Addicts: Black Meddle, Part II (2010) Review

Nachtmystium's highly-anticipated followup to 2008's Assassins: Black Meddle, Part I came out yesterday. Addicts: Black Meddle, Part II clearly shows that Nachtmystium is staying true to their concept, though not, perhaps, the concept you expected.

You may have expected them to do more of the psychedelic black metal that made them famous. But if so, maybe you didn't notice the spelling of "meddle". Instead, they have pushed their sound into industrial black metal. I've seen several sources make comparisons to Killing Joke, and I think that's as close as you can come to explaining the industrial side. The black metal part is not as aggressive as on their past work, either. It's more on the Primordial end of the spectrum, though the ultra-harsh vocals are still here. In four words, I would call it industrial gothic black metal, but that's a bit of a mouthful.

They start the album with an intro and the most straight-forward black metal on the album, "High on Hate". Then the surprises start: black metal mixed with old time rock and roll (is that a tambourine on "Nightfall"?) and a sort of gothic/synth-pop track ("No Funeral"). The remainder of the album is the Killing Joke-inspired work, with highlights including "Addicts" and "Blood Trance Fusion".

The Verdict: I didn't see this coming, and that's one of the best things about Nachtmystium. At the same time, it's lacking the aggression of their earlier work. I like the more gothic-sounding approach, but I would have appreciated it if they had done more high-speed hate to give more variety to the album in tempo and tone. It has the potential to be extremely divisive, likely alienating as many fans as it earns. Still, it's a very solid release, and I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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