"Assassins: Black Meddle Part I" is the 4th full-length studio album by US black metal act Nachtmystium. The album was released in June 2008 by Century Media Records. A vinyl version of the album was released by Back in Black.
The music on the album is black metal with some anthemic heavy metal elements. There´s a progressive touch to some of the tracks but it´s mostly the ending trio of tracks ( "Seasick, Part I: Drowned at Dusk", "Seasick, Part II: Oceanborne", "Seasick, Part III: Silent Sunrise") that I would label progressive. Tracks like "Ghosts of Grace", "Your True Enemy" and "Omnivore" are more "regular" black metal/ heavy metal tracks.
The band´s basic black metal sound is boosted by synths, keyboards and effects courtesy of Sanford Parker ( Minsk, Buried at Sea, Behold! The Living Corpse, Twilight, The High Confessions, Circle Of Animals) and there´s even some saxophone playing in the ending trio of tracks which also gives the album a nice varied touch. The inclusion of guest lead guitarists on several tracks is also a really good idea, as the solos on the album generally are very well sounding and add atmosphere to the songs.
"Assassins: Black Meddle Part I" was recorded and mixed by Sanford Parker at Volume Studios and produced by Sanford Parker and Nachtmystium. They´ve created a powerful and professional production, that suits the music well, but could have prospered from a slightly more raw sound if you ask me.
My fist listen to this album didn´t impress me much, but I´d advice you to take further listens before passing judgement, because repeated listens have revealed a lot of details and interesting ideas that I didn´t hear the first time around. I´ve come to the conclusion that Nachtmystium have quite a unique sound and while their basic songwriting might not be that interesting, if it weren´t for all the added effects, I´ve ended up pretty impressed. I´d say a 3.5 - 4 star rating isn´t all wrong for "Assassins: Black Meddle Part I".