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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Concert Mon Jun 14 2010

A Little Nacht(mystium) Musik


The Stereogum website recently pre-released a track from Wheaton based psych/metal unit Nachmystium's fifth album, Addicts: Black Meddle Part II. Titled "Every Last Drop," it was released in anticipation of the album's June 8th release date, and bookends another album track (the catchy, synth-driven "No Funeral"), standing in stark contrast. While "No Funeral," which sounds like one of the new-wave/black metal hybrids you'd expect partway a mid-period Sigh record (though it should be noted that Sigh would have upped the ante by chopping the catchy hook up with smoked-out reggae riddims, film soundtrack ambiance, and boot-on-the-throat metal rasping just to keep you unsettled and/or doubled over with laughter), "Every Last Drop," while hardly orthodox black metal, at least has some precedent within the genre.

"Every Last Drop" casts its spell in a secluded forest, with an acoustic intro that leads into a booming riff and some mournful wails (from Yakuza's Bruce Lamont) and pushed forward by a wheezing synth sound. Much is made of Nachtmystium frontman Blake Judd's love of Radiohead (their mournful, texture-heavy atmospherics primarily) and Pink Floyd (especially the mid-'70s period, when the sound was so isolated, emotionally brittle and architecturally dense), but it's not like you have to venture too far out of the steaming metal woodlands to hear something like this -- the folk-driven arrangements and frequent switch into acoustic instruments recalls Enslaved's brilliant merging of prog-folk and righteous war metal on Eld (an album any black metal fanatic ought to have committed to memory), while the ever-slippery Ulver (sort of the Nachtmystium of their time and place [late-'90s Norway]) combined synths, trip-hop drums, and non-screamed vocals in a way that didn't make you reach for the puke-bucket on their double CD Themes From William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. You wouldn't think it would work, but it did, as it does here.

"Every Last Drop" wades just as fearlessly into its own sonic space as Enslaved (who were contemporaries with Emperor, Darkthrone, Mayhem, and all the other old-school units, but definitely stood perpendicular to the scene) and Ulver (who were happy to distance themselves from the pose of the 'more extreme than thou' church-burners), though anyone who listens to music other than black metal will hear the reference points. If Nachtmystium really owes anything to Pink Floyd, it's the languorous drumming and the glissandi -- seriously, the bitter rise/fall of single guitar/synth notes in the finale is straight out of Wish You Were Here/Animals, all limousine isolation and studio grudges. Nachtmystium channel the soloist-as-hunger-artist tendencies of David Gilmour without drifting off into self-pitying odes to the pain of playing for 50,000 screaming fans who don't understand your self-pity.

If you want to hear Nachtmystium pull this off live, you can see them on either of the two nights in a row when they'll be playing with Louisiana legends Eyehategod at the Empty Bottle, this Saturday and Sunday (19th and 20th). Addicts: Black Meddle Part II is out now from Century Media.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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