Will this be Nachtmystium last album?

Nachtmystium has a whirlwind of events behind them in the last 12 months, especially bandleader Blake Judd. His openly publicised heroin addiction and the apparently successful attempt to get clean, the talk about the new album being the last to backing down from that statement until now finally more allegations of Blake Judd ripping off his fans by not sending them the album which they apparently had paid for. This all led to a statement by record label Century Media saying that ‘The World We Left Behind’ is the last Nachtmystium to be released through them.

Whatever will happen and is true about all these statements, we now have a new Nachtmystium album. The album starts with the rather directionless instrumental ‘Intrusion’ followed by the track ‘Fireheart’, a typical Nachtmystium tack in 2014. ‘Voyager’, previously released a teaser for the new album back in 2013, is the third song of the album. The song seems repetitive, doesn’t get to the point and hasn’t been re-arranged. The three openers have their good moments but are not among the best tracks Nachtmystium has released. The songs are too drawn out and lack structure. A climatic development is missing which used to be one of the strengths of the band. The riffs lack the energy and freshness you want to hear on a metal album.

The album has its highlights. ‘Into The Endless Abyss’ for example has in parts the dramatic climax that makes a great Nachmystium song. The final two tracks ‘On The Other Side’ and ‘Epitaph For A Dying Star’ increase the intensity and let you hope that the next Nachtmystium (at the moment it looks like we are going to get another one) has more of that style of songs.

The lyrics on ‘The World We Left Behind’ seem to be heavily influenced by Blake Judd’s recent struggle against his demons. It seems that this record is the most personal that he created so far. Song titles like ‘On The Other Side’ and ‘Epitaph For A Dying Star’ indicate the personal struggle of the last couple of years

With ‘The World We Left Behind’ Nachtmystium take one step further on the road from a raw black metal sound to a more atmospheric in parts even psychedelic sound. Every song is still deeply rooted in Nachtmystium’s black metal beginnings. The production is again that of a black album. But Judd Blake pushes the band again beyond the borders of traditional black metal.  The result is an album that is neither Nachtmystium’s best nor does it create something really new.

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