On a rare and beautiful alchemy, one born of black metal and hallucinogens: Nachtmystium’s “Black Meddle” albums4
July 31, 2012 by hhbrady
I saw them live in June of 2010, touring with Eyehategod. I went to see EHG specifically (though I owned Addicts at that point), and though their closer of “Assassins” was fucking awesome and a rare combination of showmanship and black metal, I failed to fully heed the Nachtmystium call. Said clarion declaration was beyond these ears.
However, and this only of late, that cry pulls my ear– beckons my eye– tugs my centre– and did make boldly necessary this oblation to their manifest corporeal connection to divinity… yielding this sacred equation, which I humbly submit unto thee:
Pure black metal,
music reflective/ exalting of experiences born from hallucinogenic states (à la Pink Floyd and/or Rimbaud’s “Systematic derangement of the senses“)
black metal born of said drug-induced states
which specifically yields:
Nachtmystium’s Assassins: Black Meddle Part I and Addicts: Black Meddle Part II.
is my thesis, at any rate.
Regarding Assassins: Black Meddle, PT. I:
IT IS the screams of the inarticulate, the groundlings, in emulating, this however with pathos, the peace they found in one or more Pink Floyd albums, much like the Ministry’s “Breathe,” in cruder, less articulate terms, though more passionate, and no less realized for that…
…the last three tracks seems to imply some sort of concept album, or at least a theme album, but if so, what story do they connote? It seems tragic, it seems angry, it seems unsettling, it seems vague… it’s most definitely moody, also there are alto sax parts, which amazingly do not sound like a late 80s-AOR rock band…
…although if it sounded like Cameo that would be more than fine….
Opener “One of These Nights,” what with its wind sounds, sounds like an ice planet somewhere, like Hoth, like the swirling storms of Jupiter, or the MDMA-esque, ravish underside of Saturn– does that make sense? No? Learn your astronomy bitches.
“Ghosts of Grace” is the most “normal” sounding tune here– an extremely “underground,” poorly-but-interestingly-lively-recorded Sex Pistols-y attempt to sound like Pink Floyd… this crudeness suggests someone like Murphy from devilishly-boldly-underrated teen comedy Charlie Bartlett, in that he’s confessing something intimate to you, like he’s not really that much of a pistol of the sexes, more of a floyd who’s also pink… but after he talks these lines, is going to be embarrassed that he even told you– there’s such a ungainly, gangly intimacy to it…
…it’s almost touching.
“Omnivore” is a black-metalled, diabolus in musica of psychedelic and mystic chords resonant of menace– then tribal drums, guttural utterances… an overall degradation and evolution at the once….
And what, prithee, what does this say about society, when our normal diet is drugs, is television highs from consumerism, from rationalism, mass manipulation, material expression*–
and not physical sustenance?
THIS IS the information age, indeed, when even our corporeality is digital, is bar-coded….
Part II is possibly evidence, actual physical contact!, with the evidence Gods, whatever their names, of how the internet sometimes contributes to greatness in music:
Addicts is an amalgam of the strangest two genres to partner– early-80s new wave pop (like Modern English, Depeche Mode, Flock of Seagulls), a tiny bit of Killing Joke and Ministry (pre-The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste) and of course (by way of Chicago)– black metal.
From what else but through the internet’s instant-access-to-any-genre capabilities could such a union be birthed?
It doesn’t always work, but it’s refreshing and singularly inspiring, that there are so many (and these, incredibly disparate) genres on this one album. “High on Hate” comes off like a Burzum track with integrity: all low bass, high treble riffs, and downbeats over 200 beats per minute….
“No Funeral” (not the truly great Revocation song from Chaos of Forms), but a Truly Great, early ministry/ killing joke tune… is a, uh… pop song with black metal vocals…? At 4:30 it couldn’t sound more like a Dawnbringer song… “Then Fires” comes off as maudlin and somewhat necessary if you’re stoned or coming off a long drunk– it comes off like a New Wave sludge tune, Killing Joke via Electric Wizard, or Zoroaster covering Depeche Mode…. and speaking of Dawnbringer, the chorus of the next tune,”Addicts” — ”All we need is more” definitely sounds like Chris Black– makes me wonder if he composed it….
The entirety of Addicts, when considered as an album and not a collection of songs–
and this in light of its following Assassins–
is almost an extended coda to Assassins, is an extended credits-scene, one heralding, celebrating and yet also mourning, the perceiver’s departure from those agreeable protagonists, from that familiar sound… an extended sonic sounding of farewell….
Well done, Blake Judd. I look forward to Silencing Machine.
*Thank you, Oswald Spengler.