Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine

As a genre, black metal is notorious for being particularly insular and stagnant, so bands that break out from the "kvlt" mould are greatly welcomed - especially when they are as expansive as Nachtmystium. With a decidedly psychedelic slant on the old formula, and a proven love of old 70s prog bands, the band have firmly established themselves as the critics choice - and a bane of the traditionalists.

After the mammoth arc of the previous records, Silencing Machine is comparatively conservative, sacrificing some of the more idiosyncratic influences for a more punishing assault of unrelenting bleakness. On the one hand, this shift in direction is disappointing in that Nachtmystium have given up a large part of what seemingly made them different; but conversely, they have done a damn fine job here and created a monster of an album that is far heavier and more extreme than many seem capable of. That mischievous sense of grandeur is not lost entirely though, as the likes of 'Give Me The Grave' would be entirely preposterous in the hands of their contemporaries on the scene. It's black metal, Jim, but not as we know it.



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