Nachtmystium – The World We Left Behind

Nachtmystium - The World We Left Behind

When you say you like black metal, people will speak band names to you and it takes the same amount of time to figure out that one is horrible as it does for them to suggest ten more. It is a literal infinite stream that is mostly worthless but there is always the elusive possibility that one might not be terrible and sometimes, very rarely, a great one exists among the waste. Nachtmystium is not that rare greatness.

Other than the vocals, utterly nothing on this record suggests in any way that it is related to black metal. For the most part, this is an Iron Maiden clone album that, if it were aesthetically decked-out like the original, would be immediately filed with the B-rated bands on the far shelf. It specializes in soft rhythms that trudge to a familiar cadence and have catchy melodic hooks overlaid, but its real power is its ability to set up a chorus with verse repetition. The primary instrument is the voice, which through varying texture enables it to imbue the verses with emotion. And if you like 1970s overblown lead guitar soloing that keeps going on and recapitulates the dominant vocal theme in five different ways, you are in for a treat.

The World We Left Behind is newsworthy only in that it is not newsworthy yet was seemingly in the news for a long time. Musically it falls into the mid-1970s with some updated technique but nothing else, and artistically it appeals to people who want droning boring music to sit through on their days off while they think about what victims of the world they are, and how this justifies buying another cherry tart at the bakery and eating it with wine while watching Notting Hill. It is not incompetent like early USBM missteps but in its competence there is an emptiness driven by an attempt to attention whore certain “deep” emotions it identified in black metal. As a result, this serves as a fitting epitaph for a once-worthy genre now swallowed up by mass taste, and nothing else.

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7 thoughts on “Nachtmystium – The World We Left Behind

  1. Anthony says:

    Isn’t this guy in jail or something? I prefer the synth Burzum albums and the second Hades album when it comes to prison black metal. Honorable mention also goes out to In Ketten/Absurd.

  2. steve says:

    I get upset when I buy an album like that Burzum prison album from the metal section and then go play it and its not metal. I have almost gone to fisticuffs over the return policy of that miscategorized stuff.

    1. Richard Head says:

      Out of curiosity; how often does that actually happen?

      I remember getting into an argument with a record store guy because some acoustic emo tripe was filed under “punk”. I was 14 years old. We actually became friends 4 or 5 years down the road.

  3. Richard Head says:

    This Blake clown has been cranking out these pieces of shit for a decade or so. Even back then, before I knew anything about about black metal, I could tell that the music sucked. At least it “sounded like” BM in the early albums, with speedy drums and tremelo melodies. Nowadays apparently you don’t even need to sound like BM to call yourself (and get classified by labels, press, fans, etc.) BM. Tragic. I actually have met some regional (Chicago is not too far from me) fans of Nachtmystium and they, as you might expect, listen to faggoty socially-conscious avant-garde ‘core bands and think it’s so fucking cool that a BM band would think so far outside the box, “experiment” with psychadelic rock, avoid Satanic lyrics, and advertise theirrampant drug us to be accepted by their little in-group of enlightened fedora-tippers.




  4. I blew my head off like Per Ohlin says:

    I’ve listened to literally everything they put out and it is stale for the most part.
    I’m not even like you know, a metalhead, so for me I have to trudge through a lot to find what is good (and enjoyable).

    1. Richard Head says:

      Trudge no longer, friend. Look through the black metal reviews in the archives and check out stuff that sounds interesting. “In the Nightside Eclipse” opened my virgin ears to black metal since it is dense and exciting but not overly abrasive, so that could be place to start for a non-metalhead as you describe yourself. Along those lines you can also hear Sacramentum “Far Away From the Sun”, Setherial “Nord”, and Ulver “Nattens Madrigal” (in the order of most-to-least importance).

      1. I blew my head off like Per Ohlin says:

        Thank you for the suggestions, but I know of and like the black metal classics. Metal like any form of music is a journey. I traipse it alone and discover myself along the way with the help of others like yourself.

        Maybe I should have rephrased it.
        I don’t classify myself as a metalhead because I didn’t grow up on the genre. Though I can totally relate to the genre in certain ways and am interested in the culture to an extent. I definitely respect metal a lot more, when I understood the whole stance behind elitism.

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