4PNL_1Tray_right_SlitPktleft_D1004I’m all for a good comeback story. Everyone wants to root for the little guy, kicked in the teeth, sand thrown in his eyes, left to the concrete to be considered down-and-out by the masses at large, just to spring right back, fire in his belly, to show the world he’s stronger than ever. Adversity be damned, coming back from the proverbial dead to flip the bird, spit fire and brimstone at his enemies… we all crave that story. It’s so empowering, so endearing, so fucking metal, that it touches us in our collective feels like few other things can. Nachtmystium mainman Blake Judd has set out to achieve such a feat with what was originally Nachtmystium‘s final album, The World We Left Behind. And for what was supposed to be a fulfilling epilogue, it just ends up being confused as all fuck.

But it starts off strong with the powerful instrumental “Intrusion.” With a trebly, scorchy guitar melody, it begins as a slow, plodding number, but ramps up with intensity until the end, which I can only describe as a blackened Iron Maiden gallop, completed by some impressive drumming by newcomer Sam Shroyer. It’s one helluva great set-up, hinting at things to come…

…just to be followed by “Fireheart.” I kept looking at the album cover to see if the words “Black Meddle Pt. III” were hidden somewhere in all that red, as this sounds like a throwaway track from the Addicts sessions. Unfortunately, the track lacks the fluidity that made that album an interesting journey into psychedelic post-rock influenced black metal. And it’s that fluctuation of quality — not to mention grasping ideas from previous albums and flinging them like blackened poo at the walls with hopes that something sticks — that makes The World We Left Behind such a frustrating listen.

Nachtmystium_2014

For every powerful song on the album, such as the driving “Into the Abyss,” the mid-to-end of “Tear You Down,” or the very Norwegian-feeling “Voyager,” you have danceable numbers like “On the Other Side.” “Epitaph for a Dying Star,” the letdown that poses as a closer, reaches flaccidly for the same effects that made Addicts‘s “Every Last Drop” such an amazingly sad epilogue, but without the heavy emotional pull created by Chris Black (who penned a lot of the band’s more engaging tunes). Also conspicuously absent are the powerful vocal performances by Yakuza‘s Bruce Lamont, or the hypnotic lull provided by former producer/electronics whiz, Sanford Parker. These three all appear to have broken ties with Blake prior to The World We Left Behind being recorded.

The confusion bleeds into the production as well. The guitars sound great, but the bass appears and disappears sporadically. The drums, though, could use some serious work, as the snare sounds like a wet paper bag full of Rice Krispies. Blake Judd, however, went to great lengths to give a strong vocal performance, and it shows. You can clearly make out his cries of rebirth, rising from the ashes, etc., but when the music is so all over the place, it doesn’t matter one iota how driven you say you are.

Consistency makes an incredible bedfellow when conveying what you are trying to say. Whether it’s in the stability of your band lineup (which at this point, Nachtmystium‘s high-powered revolving door is making even Jons Leon and Schaffer blush with envy), your songwriting, or even in your decision to keep your band running or not, it helps to boost your message. Especially if it’s a powerful theme such as redemption and coming back. As it stands, this album screams “contractual obligation” more than it does “returning with a vengeance” [or “going out with a bang” – AMG]. Very sad.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlObtWZjnWQ]


Rating:  2.0/5.0
DR:  6  |  Format Reviewed:  192kbps MP3
Label:  Century Media Records
Website:  NacthmystiumFacebook
Release Dates:  EU: 2014.08.04 | NA: 8.05.2014

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  • KingKuranes

    “flinging them like blackened poo” – this is why I come to this site.

  • Haralamboss Horn

    for me, the sound of these fake drums (it’s obviously not a real performance, rides are absent) ruins the whole thing. Plus, the songs are too simple even for Nachtmystium. 2/5 is spot on

    • DND

      For one, the drummer is real. I was there watching him play like a madman, perfectly to a click track. Sam Shroyer is one of the best young drummers I have seen. I love when people know exactly what happened before they get their facts straight. Second, whatever version of the album you have obviously jacked off of a torrent site is not the finished mastered version. Please think before spewing semen out of your mouth.

      • AMG reviewers use the promos from the labels themselves, as we did here. Whatever version the label decided to send us is the one we took as representative of the eventual release.

        • DND

          I wasn’t talking about Grymm’s (really, two m’s?) terrible review, I was talking about Haralamboss Horn’s comment. I don’t think he is a AMG reviewer.

          • Grymm

            Two m’s. And a Y.

      • Haralamboss Horn

        If this is a real performance, then it is a mediocre one, plus the sound of the drums is weak. I cannot actually hear realistic rides, they sound like drum machine. Just compare the performance and the sound of these drums to the ones in the previous album. Silencing machine’s drummer was incredible and the sound really massive and solid.

        • DND

          If you listened to the album prior to August 5th than there is no way you had the mixed and mastered version if the album. Whatever was leaked via torrent websites was a fluke version prior to even the recordings being finished. Plus, who knows what kind of sound system you are using. This is also the only complaint on the amazing performance put forth by Sam Shroyer out of all the other comments and reviews I have read. Haters will hate. There’s always going to be that. Sorry the album wasn’t up to your standards, wait, who are you?

          • And who are you?

          • Grymm

            And why are you named after a role-playing game?

          • DND

            I’m someone who actually cares about real facts. Didn’t get the initial “role playing game” attempt to make fun and pull people’s attention from what I said until I googled it. Weak. Also, I’m a musician and was present for a lot of the recordings. I don’t agree with any of the transgressions Judd pulled on his friends but I do think that the final album is better than what Grymm said about it. Everyone’s going to have a different opinion and you know what, I apologize to Grymm and HH. You are completely entitled to your own opinion. Hearing that the drums were thought of as fake angered me, because they are not. That’s why I lashed out.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    2014 has certainly been a huge and interesting year for Metal with yet another big release disappointing. I’ve been really looking forward to and was hoping to be blown away.
    God damn, if ‘Tear you down’ is one of the better tracks i’ll be giving this a miss and giving Triptykion and extra few spins.

  • AndySynn

    I actually thought this was a really good album. I have nothing more than that to add to the conversation however, so I’ll show myself out.

    • Grymm

      If there was some better editing in the studio, as well as a different track order (ie, don’t follow such a strong intro like “Intrusion” with the BOOTS-AND-PANTS-AND-BOOTS-AND-PANTS-athon that was “Fireheart”), it would have been a stronger record to me. As it was, I was let down.

      • AndySynn

        What do you have against boots and pants???

        • Grymm

          *concedes*

          Fine, you win. ;)