Nachtmystium and You in Series…Posted on Wednesday, June 21st, 2006 @ 9:42am » permalink
"Instinct: Decay" is the latest outing from "kvlt" USBM faves Nachtmystium on Battle Kommand Records, and some of what I've read about this album deems it somehow "progressive" – which perhaps by black metal standards it is, though personally I question whether or not a few spacey ambient interludes or reverberatingly layered solo passages are truly "progressive" to the degree that some would have you believe. But in no way is that an attempt to discredit this material whatsoever: In fact, I enjoy several aspects of this release a little more than what I've heard from Nachtmystium in the past. I just don't want people to get the wrong idea, because there's still plenty of raw and fairly traditional black metal going on here – it's just that rather than tagging it "progressive" I'd simply refer to it as a refusal to stagnate. Basically, this effort sees the band taking that same brand of eerie, dissonant riffing and those same sneering screams and developing them further by introducing a greater number of tempo changes and minor variations in architecture. So yes, the occasionally intriguing clean passage or numerous appearances of resonant lead melodies (or caustic lead textures, in some cases) do indeed work to separate this album from the pack, but anyone listening to this material will still immediately recognize it as black metal through and through… and oddly enough there are actually a few areas that are surprisingly stripped down and in your face considering the overall growth of the songwriting.
Also worth noting is that the recording is a little stronger than some of the group's past efforts as well. For the most part the production maintains a thick and tactfully rugged atmosphere where the vocals are excellently mixed deep in against the instrumentation, but whereas some prior Nachtmystium recordings displayed a rather biting guitar tone, the rhythm guitars are much more controlled this time around – leaving only the leads to carry some of that harsher bite here and there. Again, make no mistake, this is not what I would call a "polished" sound, even by black metal standards. It still follows the general tone of the genre's classic aesthetic, it's just that noticeable improvements have been put into place. I'm admittedly quite fond of black metal's oft-relied upon black and white imagery, so I'm not really feeling the layout on this one (though the outer packaging is alright, and I do commend the decision to ignore those conventions), but I do find the lyrical snippets included within the booklet to be pretty damn promising – not to mention very atypical of most of the black metal that I come across:
Inner complacency, Reliving illusions once immense, Hidden from the sheep, The sanity of the isolated is my salvation…
This is certainly a step forward, and one that leaves me quite curious as to what Nachtmystium will deliver in the future.
As usual, downloading is bullshit, so don't be an ass. Buy a copy of the CD for yourself if you're into it: