Chicago's black metal merchants Nachtmystium have returned with their sixth release and first since the acclaimed Addicts: Black Meddle, Part II in 2010. Silencing Machine is basically band leader Blake Judd's vision of what black meddle....oops, sorry, black metal, should be, or more importantly, Nachmystium's interpretation of the genre and how they fit in it. Their ability to craft extreme music with layers of psychedelia and almost prog-rock styled sophistication, always maintaining a strong sense of melody but never sacrificing the brutality, has long been commendable, and they don't disappoint here.
Those raging, old school Norwegian black metal influences are still here, but you have to love the way Judd & Co. allow those trippy keys, sizzling lead guitars, and mournful waves of atmosphere seep into songs like "Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams", "Dawn Over the Ruin of Jerusalem" and "The Lepers of Destitution". For a different spin, check out the ever so slight industrial twist on the title track, or the pummeling death metal fury of "I Wait in Hell". There's even a post-punk vibe on the industrial tinged "Decimation Annihilation", which again adds to the variety factor but it probably is the weakest song here. Classic Darkthrone meets early Pink Floyd or Hawkwind on the violent and spacey "Reduced to Ashes", and there's even some doomy post rock on the textured closer "These Rooms In Which We Weep".
If Nachtmystium are looking to push the boundaries of black metal (and most would certainly say they've been doing that for quite a few years now), Silencing Machine is a good example of how that can be done. It might not be the highlight of a discography filled with gems, but it's a damn good one and shows that they still have plenty of magic up their sleeves.
1. Dawn Over the Ruin of Jerusalem
2. Silencing Machine
3. And I Control You
4. The Lepers of Destitution
5. Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams
6. I Wait in Hell
7. Decimation Annihilation
8. Reduced to Ashes
9. Give Me the Grave
10. These Rooms In Which We Weep