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Well then...where do I start with THIS one?
I never really understood the sudden inundation of all things NACHTMYSTIUM in the past few years; from the coveted Century Media signing to the pulling out of various tours to the PINK-FLOYD-in-corpsepaint approach, to me the MYSTIUM bandwagon has always confounded rather than coerced. And Mr. Judd's alienated comments about the black metal scene don't help matters, given his and the band's roots. I always figured their little soiree into musical nastiness is little more than all-words-no-action, wherein all the critical and fanboy acclaim heaped to nountainous size was a smoke screen covering yawn-inducing music. "Assassins..." was a meticulously uninteresting piece of self-indulgent wankery that reeked of stylistic atrophy, so when a new release came cascading from the depths onto the (un?)suspecting public I had to find out if the 'MYSTIUM squad could somehow improve on matters.
Nope. Didn't happen.
While much of the Fenriz at Woodstock psychedelic appeal is present, it's not presented in spades like "Assassins...", and instead we get plodding, thrown-together, half-assed "black meddle" that's best left to the demo era. The musical performance, from the sensation-less vocal rasps to the go-nowhere guitar riffs to the non-descript blast beats don't really wow the listener nor give him/her a deja vu sensation of listening to an obscure mid 90's demo from a basement-dwelling Norwegian goblin horde, but instead makes one listless and longing for something with more variety, meat, and over-all entertainment. Every song suffers the same problematic formula with little to no change in the recipe, with the same tasteless croaks, wandering guitars, and weak-kneed percussion that don't blend into the tight little wonder an album, even an EP, should be. The production is just as at fault, with its hollowed out, flat sound that crushes the lack of good ideas into a pancake-esque sound likened to being bludgeoned with cardboard. No matter if it's the nonsense of "Bones" or the pointlessness of "Hellish Overdose" this is hardly an entertaining, thrilling ride into "something different" with absolutely nothing of redeemable value.
In the end this experiment of potential interest was a waste of time for me. Nothing Blakey-boy has done in the past number of years has really shown me any sort of progression or evolution, and if this EP is any indication of the future of NACHTMYSTIUM, then I say "Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder" and call it a day.
Thank fuck I seem to be one of the minority who like Nachtmystium such is the regularity with which I've been reviewing them this last year. The continuing abuse that gets directed at these Americans by the internet's keyboard warriors baffles me - is it because they are (whisper it quietly), different? This "Doomsday Derelicts" EP follows the (re-)release of the "Worldfall" EP earlier this year and my 2008 album of the year, "Assassins".
Like the "Worldfall" release, "Doomsday Derelicts" doesn't last long, but in the time it does the songs featured hit you with varying levels of aggression and passiveness, justifying their collection together as an EP. "Bones" is the most aggressive, a quick blast of Possessed-like black metal. "Life Of Fire" harks back to the psychedelic free-spirited vibe that made "Assassins" so good, in particularly showing the band as having an easily identifiable sound these days. "Hellish Overdose" is Slayer-meets-Motörhead-meets-Toxic Holocaust, and a good attempt at it too, while "Pitch Black Cadence" is a combination of Nachtmystium's black metal attack and the feedback-laden riffs of their recent psychedelic vibes.
Short and sweet and over in 17 minutes, the "Doomsday Derelicts" EP is another reason why anyone with an open-mind and interest in extreme metal should investigate Nachtmystium. A good release for what it is and a pre-cursor to their upcoming mouth-watering tour with Absu. Bring it on.
Originally written for Rockfreaks.net