Nachtmystium - _Doomsday Derelicts_
(Battle Kommand, 2009)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (7 out of 10)
Flying a bit under the radar, this one, and that after many had _Assassins_ perched amongst the best records of 2008. The _Doomsday Derelicts_ EP arrives with little fanfare or press (I didn't get a review copy and I'm on the Battle Kommand mailing list) and from the first spin it's easy to see why. This is by no means the legitimate follow-up to _Assassins_, but seemingly the band getting old-school and having a few grins in the studio. Gone almost entirely are the psychedelic flourishes, but that doesn't mean Nachtmystium are getting back to their black metal roots.

Nay, they go even further; "Hellish Overdose" is a straight Venom cop, as the chugging, rockist riffs and lyrics about how the band will "ruin your city / while blazing through" attest. Municipal Waste would be proud. Not all of the EP's four tracks consist of proto-thrash homage, however. "Bones" spreads a modernist blackened death patina over early Morbid Angel grooves with some of the band's most polished (read: controversial) production yet. "Life of Fire" is hands down the weakest track, somber, melodic goth done up with a touch of black metal, but the band rebound strongly with "Pitch Black Cadence", the finest of this bunch and the one most likely to end up on the next official studio album.

If that does turn out to be the case, the kvlt purists will certainly be out in force. "Cadence" is mid-tempo blackened doom of a most accessible sort. Catchy riffs and ringing chords over a bed of alternating blast beats and tribal rolls leaves the most lasting impression here even as it seems a bit of a regression at the same time, coming as it does on the heels of Nachtmystium's most experimental and -- many would argue -- finest material. However, it's probably jumping the gun to assume that -anything- here represents any kind of crystal ball into the band's future merely on the basis of its place in the Nachtmystium chronology.

The fact is, as many people despise EPs for their perceived lack of monetary value ("look at all that CD real estate going to waste!") this kind of thing is -precisely- what extended plays are for: this is not so much a rounding up of material deemed too inferior for album release -- there is no indication that these four tracks are anything but freshly minted material -- as it is a chance for the band to branch out and experiment, without that experimentation necessarily implying a further dip into the avant garde but just trying on new stylistic hats. That said, only diehard fans need apply here.


(article published 16/8/2009)

8/9/2008 J Smit 9 Nachtmystium - Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1
7/5/2006 T DePalma 6.5 Nachtmystium - Instinct: Decay
3/26/2006 T DePalma 2 Nachtmystium - Nachtmystium
12/31/2004 M Noll 9 Nachtmystium - Eulogy IV
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