Blake Judd, the creative force behind this Chicago-based progressive metal band, has never been one to conform to genres. Nor has he ever been willing to suffer petty criticisms about staying true to the black metal aesthetic. On the contrary, what’s made Nachtmystium such a force is its ability to morph and evolve.
On their latest, the band (it’s now more of a collaborative effort) continues to merge black metal’s raw, undiluted emotion with moments of psychedelic rock, as if Pink Floyd decided they were disillusioned misanthropes. The effect is akin to a grand statement; the songs aren’t merely songs so much as vessels for the band’s collective explosive negative energy. The album’s closer, a trilogy entitled Seasick Pts. I, II and III, is unnerving, with claustrophobic passages of post-rock and a saxophone solo, while the title track is eight minutes of monolithic, pulsating aggression.
Nachtmystium open for Boris at Lee’s Palace July 14.