by Graham "Gruhamed" Hartmann
“Cry for help.” A single drum sounds, echoing into nothingness. Time after time it comes, foreshadowing the dark and depraved auditory assault, which has yet to begin. The bell of a cymbal is heard in the distance, responding to the echoing drum. The band is patient and allows the moment to fester as guitarist and vocalist Blake Judd enters. He begins to recite letters, slowly delivering the album’s opening cryptic phrase:
The echoing drum subsides, and NACHTMYSTIUM’s highly anticipated Addicts: Black Meddle Part II begins.
“High on Hate” picks up right where the band left off from Assassins; fast, dark and atmospheric. The song nihilistically dismisses their status as black metal heroes while almost proving it simultaneously.
“We don’t want your loyalty, we reject your trust, we ignore your sympathy, we do what we must.”
After the first few songs are completed, Addicts starts moving in a new direction. A catchy synth riff begins the track “No Funeral,” and creates an atmosphere that feels like a dance hall in purgatory. All I could picture were doomed souls dancing in a mindless melancholic fashion. This is definitely once of the most memorable tracks on Addicts, not only because of its different direction, but also due to its innovation. The innovation continues throughout the release, with very few fast drumbeats left to be heard. The title track continues the cross-genre trend with a hybrid style of indie rock and black metal. The dark subtext found in these otherwise catchy songs could be attributed to NACHTMYSTIUM’s use of low-pitched drones in the background of their music. That and Blake Judd’s trademark sinister growl keeps the feeling low, seemingly trapping the pop influence and forcing it to take a back seat. Addicts ends with “Every Last Drop,” which perfectly caps off the feeling kept throughout the record. Its slow tempo and hypnotic quality leaves you with the feeling of being both fulfilled and terrified, as the music fades away.
Fans of NACHTMYSTIUM are used to the band’s experimentation and their more current sense of distance kept from traditional black metal, so the different direction taken in Addicts won’t be too surprising to loyal followers. What is surprising however, is the fact that NACHTMYSTIUM are constantly able to concoct new forms of their own style while capturing undeniable success through creativity. In simpler terms, this album kicks ass and takes no prisoners; showcasing exactly why NACHTMYSTIUM are one of the most respected and admired bands in metal today.