Silencing Machine is the sixth full-length album by US black metal act Nachtmystium. The album was released in 2012. The band’s line-up has seen some re-working in the couple of years since the release of Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. II (2010) with only band leader Blake Judd remaining a full band member between both releases, although Will Lindsay performed on both albums it’s only Silencing Machine where he is a band member opposed to a guest. Nachtmystium has never had a stable line-up so I’m sure anyone familiar with the band won’t be surprised that Silencing Machines features yet another line-up of the group.
While remaining black metal at heart, Nachtmystium’s music is very much experimental in nature, particularly with psychedelic influences although the group doesn’t explore these anywhere near as much as a vaguely similar and much younger act called Hail Spirit Noir, who released their debut album Pneuma earlier in the year which resulted in what seemed to me that black metal was only a secondary driving force beside the psychedelic sound. Silencing Machine never leaves room for doubt though that it is black metal at its core and anything else the band throws in, be it psychedelic or even progressive parts, are just building on that template in order to make the album stand out from the more straightforward of black metal acts.
The result isn’t as far removed from the original black metal template as some artists I’ve come across, but enough so that it’s also never in doubt that Nachtmystium break the black metal mould, although there are a lot of subtleties to be found during Silencing Machine that could be easy to miss unless you fully invest yourself into the music. It wasn’t surprising to me that Blake Judd has said in the past that Nachtmystium isn’t a black metal band. The music, or at least my comprehension of it, tells a little bit of a different story on Silencing Machine, which is my first encounter with the group so I can’t really compare the album in terms of direction or quality to anything the band has done previously, but I have to say that I’d still call Silencing Machine is a black metal album. The purist out there may disagree, and I can’t help but wonder if Judd himself holds purist views towards the genre, but whatever you consider the album to be at the end of the day, it’s a damn fine work with many moments of pure genius to be found. Tracks like the title track along with And I Control You and I Wait in Hell are top quality compositions that stick with me long after the album’s near one hour running time comes to a close. A great album tier rating is deserved.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))