It is encouraging to see that those outside of black metal and critical circles have recognized the enormous talent of a band called NACHTMYSTIUM. The Chicago act scored big with 2006's "Instinct: Decay", a tour de force of progressive black metal, dark atmospheres, and swirling psychedelic tones. Based on the success of that album and the buzz built on earlier releases like "Eulogy IV" (Southern Lord), guitarist, vocalist, and mastermind Blake Judd found himself and his henchmen signed to monster metal label Century Media, an unlikely pairing, yet one that demonstrates the surprisingly widespread appeal of NACHTMYSTIUM. As a cure for the hungry, the band's first shot across the bow for its big league debut is a terrific EP called "Worldfall", one that includes two new tracks, a re-recorded cut, and two cover songs, all of which are performed with aplomb, as expected.Both new songs, the title track and "Depravity", are outstanding additions to the NACHTMYSTIUM arsenal. The former is a shimmering bleak beauty that flows with a steady beat, echoing vocals (Judd sure does love the reverb), whispers, and shifts to sections of quicker tempo led by those now-trademark fuzzed-out, melody-based solos. The most effective parts are the choir vocals — courtesy of co-producer/co-engineer Chris Black (PHARAOH, SUPERCHRIST) and Judd — that drive the main melody. "Depravity" harkens back to the atmosphere-drenched black metal fury that put NACHTMYSTIUM on the map; from blasting to mid-tempo march, and rife with distorted riffs and a mesmerizing shouted chorus, the tune is a grand one. Recording a great song like "Solitary Voyage" (from the "Demise" album) and giving it the Judd/Black/Djuric studio treatment was a smart move, as the song's triumphant cadence and the moog-created melody really brings it to life. What a fantastic song! The cover choices of DEATH IN JUNE's "Rose Clouds of Holocaust" and GOATSNAKE's "IV" work not just because they are strong cuts to begin with, but also because the NACHTMYSTIUM reinterpretations are done in a way that makes them the band's own. The band's rendition of "Rose Clouds of Holocaust" (with lead guitar by Chris Black) in particular is powerful and the gothic/folky melody is damn addictive. The sludgy, SABBATH-esque devil blues of "IV" is kept largely intact, yet shrouded in that peculiarly NACHTMYSTIUM aura. For an EP with only two new tracks, "Worldfall" is surprisingly gripping. Then again, is it really all that surprising? Come on, this is NACHTMYSTIUM we're discussing here. Can you imagine the possibilities for the upcoming full-length album?
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).