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Nachtmystium - Nachtmystium

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Artist: Nachtmystium

Album: Nachtmystium

Label: Battle Kommand

Review date: Mar. 9, 2006

While some demos saw circulation as early as 1998, Azentrius and Grave truly put the pieces of Nachtmystium together in the summer of 2000, as both were in the throes of other projects, Ezurate and Venfecum respectively. Nachtmystium allegedly was to be a “side project,” but the results were ostensibly too effective to submit to slowly staggered releases and a half-baked production effort. Azentrius put forth the ponderous ideology, and Nachtmystium was off: “Black Metal is War and nothing else. Anyone who feels differently: May you be sent to the gas chambers.” Which is nothing new, whether in tone or rhetoric: The Black Metal equivalent of “Kilroy was here.” Yet, as soon as a few interviews are picked through, it’s apparent that Azentrius’ design is more than sword rattling chest thump; for he also thinks of Nachtmystium’s music as a virus, which incubates within listeners, unleashing hatred and misery through repeated listens.

And true to form, this 2002 self-titled EP is remarkably anguished, a venomous mixture of Judas Iscariot and Transylvanian Hunger-era Darkthrone, with persistent glacial riffing that freezes around Azentrius’ maddening vocals: words which scratch free of syntax, often sliding into hyperventilating shriek. There’s very little variation from this template throughout the EP, minus the occasional folky line reminiscent of Heathen Metal great, Drudkh. Even in comparison with later work, such as the magnificent Demise, this is as savage as it gets.

By Stewart Voegtlin

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