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USBM with SERIOUS potential - 83%

dmerritt, July 13th, 2003

It seems as if the USBM scene is in a constant state of progression. There are too many bands to think of, but almost all the ones I've heard as of late have a stong foundation, both in the European scenes and more recently in the early American founders, such as Judas Iscariot, etc. Enter Nachtmystium. I had never even heard of this band before I soaked this one in, but I am confident that they are poised to become a major item in the ever-developing US scene.

The opening track, 'The Glorious Moment' is powerful but infectiously melodic, reminiscent of Dissection and vintage Naglfar. The combination of grand, magestic soundscapes with traditional BM grit might also bring up comparisons to fellow countrymen Averse Sefira and Fog. The best quality of the material is the creative guitarwok, best exemplified by the first riff to the second track 'Cold Tormentor', which is catchy in a very USBM sort of way, but also seems to contain some Requiem-era Bathory thrashiness.

The weaker point of the material is the redundancy. Some of the songs seem to wash into each other, with often barely discernable distinction. 'Come Forth, Devastation' picks up where the underdeveloped 'Cold Tormentor' left off, with minimal variation. Also, the shortness of the tracks sometimes works against the vastness of the band's sound. The compositions cut off at the precise moment where they become enjoyable. Aside from the ingenious solo that caps off 'Come Forth, Devastation' (comparisons to GBK will abound here), the second, third, and fourth tracks suffer from depreciating brevity and sameness.

However, the album picks up immediately afterwards with 'Call of the Ancient', the second strongest original work on the MCD, next to the opener, and ends with a slightly tighter and slightly faster version of Judas Iscariot's 'Gaze Upon Heaven In Flames'.

Although this six-song snippet is far from perfect, it is also far from ordinary, and, as with all MCD's and EP's, potential is the primary criterion. On this note, Nachtmystium passes with flying colors.