Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine [Century Media Records - 2012]Although perhaps climatically similar with its Nordic center of origin, one does not usually associate the city of Chicago with the genre of black metal. Regardless, Nachtmystium has called the windy city home and with the release of Silencing Machine scrawls a dirty line in the frozen soil demarcating its tenth year of activity. Following the release of a pair of diversionary albums (2008’s Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. 1 and 2010’s Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. 2), Silencing Machine revels in a return to form of sorts for the band which employs mainly straightforward compositions and minimal use of extraneous “non-black metal” elements.
Make no mistake, however, that “conventional” in this sense does not mean that Nachtmystium revels in basement quality, one-dimensionality. This is black metal at its most positively listenable. The riffs are immediate, nothing in the way of unresolvable time signatures ever appears, and mellow mid-paced sections are frequent interludes between the blasting speed sections. This is a sword which cuts both ways, however, as the band cannot avoid an overall generic quality. There is no unique chord or tremolo section you haven’t heard before to be discovered here.
If indeed Nachtmystium has sought to return to the middle of the road, they have definitely achieved their aim. There is a certain safety by taking this route, but perhaps an injection of factors which prolong longevity are a prudent move after the release of the two vastly experimental “black meddle” albums. Meat and potatoes it may be, but a meal which definitely will tide the average black metal fan over until the next more daring platter.