Nachtymystium is a cautionary tale on how to not use drugs. Formed in 2000 as a project away from Ezurate by Azentrius and Pat McCormick near the festering refuge from humanity that is called Chicago, the band issued demos called Holocaust Of Eternity and Unholy Terrorist Cult, which were issued under Azentrius’ Majestic Twilight Creations’ imprint. The solo project of Azentrius a.k.a. Blake Judd was a black metal band in full black metal regalia. The band and Zalnik also participated in a split in 2001 where Zmij of the latter band contributed vocals to Nachtmystium’s portion. The group debuted on stage in early November, 2001 at the Unholy Devastation Festival in Aurora, Illinois, USA with Zmij on vocals and Marcus Kolar from Sarcophagus and Forest Of Impaled on bass. Live Onslaught was a 2002 release, which was recorded at The Unholy Devastation Festival.
Regimental Records signed the band and issued Reign Of The Malicious. Pat "Noctis" McCormick was on drums. Desire Of Goat in 2005 reissued this record, alongside the band’s self-titled EP of 2003. Speaking of re-releases Regimental issued The First Attacks - Demos 2000-2001, which included unreleased tracks in 2004. A couple of releases appeared on Autopsy Kitchen. A 2004 EP was called Eulogy IV and was released by Total Holocaust Records of Sweden. Live Onslaught #2 was an independent EP released in 2005. In that year the band also issued a video called Visual Propaganda: Live From The Pits Of Damnation through USA’s Pagan Flames Productions, which featured footage from various shows in Illinois, USA including one from Blitzkrieg Festival. In these years the band was touring with the likes of Zoroaster, Eyehategod, 1349 and Grand Belial’s Key. After a split release with Krieg called Daze West through Eerie Art Records featuring a couple of covers the band returned to issuing a full-length. Battle Kommand was partly owned by Azentrius. The band would sign with Century Media for North America only despite this. Candlelight would work with the act in Europe. Century Media signed the band for worldwide releases in 2012. The first fruit of this cooperation was Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. I hinting at the start of a series. During September, the band dropped off a North American tour with Opeth and High On Fire claiming it was "Due to some issues beyond our control". A tour with Wolves In The Throne Room proceeded. The band scheduled a 2012 tour with Krieg and Murmur for 2012.
During the band’s time many members came and went. These included Chris Black of Pharaoh, Superchrist and Dawnbringer, who was considered a co-permanent member at one point, guitarist Jeff Wilson (2006 – 2010), keyboardist Sanford Parker (2008 – 2013), drummer Wargoat Obscurum (2003 – 2006) and guitarist Andrew Markuszewski. Bassist Reid Raley of Rwake/Deadbird, for example, was announced as a permanent member in mid-2011. He left in 2012.
In early 2013 Yosuke Konishi, owner of Nuclear War Now, accused Judd of being a rip off! Productions, of Japan after the former man had offered to sell the latter the overstock merchandise of his Battle Kommand Records. Hells Headbangers Records also made a similar claim against Judd. Blake Judd was arrested for theft in October of 2013 forcing the band to cancel several shows. It was presumed that aside from the criminal element the man had resorted to theft to feed his drug addiction. The man admitted to having not shipped ordered copies of The World We Left Behind album, which triggered a statement from Century Media Records which promised rectification on their part and the dropping of Nachtmystium from its roster. Judd promised corrective action and claimed he would be seeking therapy. Angry at being scammed a group of would-be customers and suppliers formed a group, printed T-shirts and began organizing as Blakecrush. Earlier Judd issued a statement, which party read, “As for the merch issues and money stuff, yeah, I've fucked up with a lot of you and for this I'm terribly sorry." The band officially ceased to exist in 2013. The man later announced he means to return to music. Instead, while uploading new music to YouTube the man announced in 2016 that he had moved away from music. Ironically, Judd was in a band called Drug Honkey between 2012 and 2013.
Nachtmystium was booted From the Scion Rock Fest bill in 2009 after being deemed as politically fascist and a Nazi band. The band vehemently denied the charge and was threatening legal action. Nachtmystium music had earlier been released or distributed by White supremacist labels. The same year also had the band bowing out of a tour with The Haunted after Judd injured his leg. Twilight was a black metal project band of Judd and members of Leviathan, Krieg and more. The group signed with Southern Lord and split up and returned. Nachtmystium signed with Prophecy Productions in 2017 and had an EP entitled Resilient.
NACHTMYSTIUM - EULOGY IV - SOUTHERN LORD
Illinois-based Nachtmystium features members with much history on the underground metal scene and so it is not surprising to hear that the band owes more to the originators of the black metal sub-genre than the diluted sheep that followed. American black metal though, to be sincere, has a checkered past which would automatically be a black mark against this bunch. Speaking of black mark, Nachtmystium's closest analogy would be mid-era Bathory with all the tension between aggression and underground disharmony and melody and quest for historical perspective that goes with it. The five original songs on the disc speak to the band's affinity for Bathory, but also present a somewhat nonconformist attempt at delivery. The sound quality is not high; the music thankfully fares better.
On the flip side, the band has followed the trend of performing and recording a bunch of cover versions and appending them to the second half of the disc. This edition of Eulogy IV contains Nachtmystium's take on Earth, Burzum and Von songs. Black metal diehards would find that this EP is still worth acquiring despite that trendy component. - Ali "The Metallian"
NACHTMYSTIUM - Same - BATTLE KOMMAND
Lest there is confusion out there this is not a new EP. In fact, Nachtmystium is the CD version of the band’s EP originally issued on vinyl in 2002 by Regimental Records. The band, whose line-up has been like shifting sand, has moved on since this release, but fans would know the EP’s songs feature grim and necro black metal with moderately fast evil incantations a la early Satyricon, Judas Iscariot or Darkthrone. Indeed, the album features a cover of Judas Iscariot’s Gaze upon Heaven In Flames, while one Akhenaten produced the recording. The band’s adventure is not in its complexity, for the music is fairly repetitious and linear, rather Nachtmystium benefits from the mood and anger generated by its stern conviction and rare determination to bring its philosophy to the scene in its own way. Albums like Nachtmystium are not only beneficial in and of themselves, but also serve as a reminder that black metal is not Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth or other glam posers. - Ali “The Metallian”
NACHTMYSTIUM - INSTANT:DECAY - BATTLE KOMMAND
Is there really another Nachtmystium album this year already? These things just keep coming, although admittedly not all of them are new recording and releases. Instant:Decay has several great songs (especially The Antichrist messiah which is also a great title), but the album’s drawback is its inconsistent quality. While this and several other songs hit the black metal nail on the head (or the cross if you wish), several others are either too bland or too close to early Bathory (Eternal ground for example) to be hailed as innovative or top-notch. A couple of interludes even smack of classic rock believe it or not.
Having said that, and the electronic cameos aside, this is cold, barren and savage black metal for underground hounds and underground hounds only. That much is appreciated and given the extreme nature of it all, which includes the vocals, Instant:Decay is still above average and deserving of a sixty mark. - Ali “The Metallian”