Reformed American black metallers Nachtmystium have returned from the shadows on new EP, “Resilient,” their first for Prophecy Productions. Spearheaded by enigma Blake Judd, the reconfigured Nachtmystium picks up where acclaimed full-lengths “The World We Left Behind” and “Silencing Machine” left off but sheds unprecedented darkness on Judd’s artistic turmoil. The violent introspection spread across “Resilient”’s tracks takes Nachtmystium through new nightmarish landscapes as the group pivot into slower tempi with washes of melancholy as the main sonic driver.
Joining Nachtmystium leader Blake Judd are keyboardist Job ‘Phenex’ Bos, a Dutchman living in Bergen, Norway, where he moonlights with German black metallers Dark Fortress and performs live with black metal icons Satyricon and black-doom luminaries The Ruins of Beverast; bassist Martin van Valkenstijn, a Germany-based musician, who’s played live with legends Empyrium, Sun of the Sleepless, and The Vision Bleak, forms half the rhythm section; and drummer Jean Graffio, an American musician, is the other half. Graffio also drums for California-based black metallers Sumeria.
“Resilient” is the start of a new chapter for Judd and Nachtmystium. The EP kicks off with the title track, a full-bodied churn of sadness, desperation, and determination. The main melody is powered by a dreamy keyboard line with Judd employing a despairing riff as counterpoint. “Silver Lanterns” is more traditional Nachtmystium but with a shimmering centerpiece. Between the half-blasts and tremeloed riffs, the keyboards act as a foil, providing lift to the overall song. “Desert Illumination” is almost uplifting in its doom-like tempo and sing-song melody line. That, however, is crushed when Nachtmystium invert the motif for a more malicious coda.