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Trippy or Tripped Up? - 80%

nightzblood, July 3rd, 2008

Like them or not, Nachtmystium deserve credit for refusing to play (corpse)paint-by-numbers black metal and instead forge their own identity. "Assassins" is the latest stage in their musical evolution, and while not perfect it still delivers and promises better things are yet to come.

What works: Currently, Nachtmystium are at their best when incorporating pseudo-psychedelic elements into songs that possess a heavy, blackened framework. The best examples hereon are 'Assassins', 'Ghosts of Grace', and 'Your True Enemy'. 'Omnivore' also works fairly well, mixing blackened heaviness, moody atmospheres, and some trippy accents all into one song.

What doesn't work: Unfortunately, Nachtmystium have not perfected their new style. Some songs ('Code Negative' and the closing 'Seasick' trilogy in particular) sacrifice too much heaviness in favor of atmosphere, the end result being rather dull songs that don't really work in my opinion (at the risk of sounding close-minded, I have never thought that saxophones worked in Metal music at all). These numbers aren't awful, but they don't really hold my attention.

In the end, it's an interesting album and the strong songs more than balance out the weaker ones. I'm curious to see whether Nachtmystium can build upon the best parts of this album and create something stronger in the future.