|Prophecy Productions / Lupus Lounge
The events involving Blake Judd, the mastermind behind the innovative act Nachtmystium, have been known for a while, sadly, and maybe some of you will be moved by a feeling of disdain by reading his name, perhaps having been among the victims of such controversial behaviour, to say the least. I admit I was a bit surprised by reading of the band’s return four years after The World We Left Behind. Their new opus Resilient, a four-track EP edited by Lupus Lounge (sub-label of German Prophecy Productions), looks very much like a rebirth for Judd, surrounded by an all-new lineup.
So, let’s just not talk about the past: what will we find in these twenty-five minutes of music? First of all, given both the band’s and label’s coordinates, a ton of atmosphere and, in contrast with the previous efforts, a less furious and more structured approach. The opener “Conversion” — a synth-soaked intro that includes a sample from Requiem For A Dream — and the following “Resilient” give us a nice idea of what we’ve just said, with Martin van Valkenstijn’s keyboards being the main act together with Judd’s voice: «Resilient, survivor, too selfish to die», a nice refrain referring to the artist’s troubled experiences.
The apex of the new Nachtmystium work is represented by “Silver Lanterns”, starting with a black ‘n’ roll vibe and evolving into a varied and perfectly balanced structure, sporting catchiness, atmosphere and violence, while the most experimental vein of the band finds way in the closing track, “Desert Illumination”: bongos and a solid keyboard background for Borknagar-like melodies at the same time, then storming into the second part of the song with double kicks and tremolo picking, before slowly dying out.
It seems like Blake Judd really found his desert enlightenment, maybe in the outskirts of California, Nachtmystium‘s new headquarters: with Resilient, the band shows that they still have something to say in a genre that they contributed to shake. Despite deplorable past actions, everybody deserves a second chance: you, the listeners, will decide whether to concede it or not, but I strongly suggest you do.