Nachtmystium - Eulogy IV
Southern Lord
Black Metal with Melancholic Moments
9 songs (39'05")
Release year: 2004
Nachtmystium, Southern Lord
Reviewed by Alex

As depression has been a frequent visitor of mine lately, I thought I’d try and look for some new music to accompany me in that state. After all, how many times can one listen to In the Woods Omnio? I figured I’d follow the advice of one of our own, Daniel’s to be specific, and visit depression where I didn’t look for it before, Black Metal. With that I thought about Nachtmystium, and trying to take things only a few songs at a time, I thought about the latest EP Eulogy IV, which also happens to be the band’s last output. Thus, I have been spinning disc # 564 out of only 1,000 printed endlessly and should be ready to pass my humble judgment. In a nutshell, Azentrius might be a genius, but he and I differ on how depression sounds.

We are all humans and we all must have felt this thing called melancholy. Some even think it is elegant and, therefore, beautiful. I don’t know. For me, it generally comes out of nowhere, overwhelms and continues to eat at me causing all kinds of grief and sadness. I can never forcefully chase it away, reprogram my brain to think about something bright and shiny. I hate melancholy as it always runs me down, I can never defeat it, until it leaves, all by itself, just unannounced as it came. Azentrius must be thinking differently as his depression and melancholy on Eulogy IV is intertwined with anger and pent up rage. They crawl quietly, right underneath grim blackened hymns, but they are responsible for blowing up the melancholy bubble on the EP. Personal attitude, no doubt …

The opener, My Vengeance, can’t be considered melancholic and depressive at all. Instead, it is a blackened thrash song, buoyed by the hefty headbanging riff. The “real” Nachtmystium, the way I imagined myself it would be, starts from the next, title, track and continues for 4 more cuts. Melodious tremolo riffing, combined with Azentrius’ distant so-not-here vocals, is what makes this EP so attractive for me. I can fully relate to this combo and I am glad that when drum blasting is done it is not hyperspeed, as well as it is hidden in the background (The Wound Which Cannot Heal). Tortuous slowdown in that song, as well as its heart-ripping solo, and the one in Bleed for Thee, shows serious excellence of Nachtmystium guitar work. Speaking of being more forceful, Bleed for Thee is that piece for me, where anger and rage can’t be covered up by being distant anymore, unlike in the title track and The Wound Which Cannot Heal.

Where I disagree with the sound, and I know I will be in the minority, are its minimalistic production values. Azentrius’ guitar work deserves to be heard, and it is so obscured by muffled sound, especially with drum cymbals putting so much treble in the mix. In a way, picking out riffs and solos makes you spin the EP more and more, but Eulogy IV would have had so much more immediate grabbing power if it was a little cleaner. Well, I guess we are dealing with underground US Black Metal. I also wish I read the lyrics. The verse printed on the booklet’s backside “The bombs will drop and the stars will fall … cities to rubble and ashes to all … Everything will be gone, nothing shall remain. Nothing is real, nothing the same” gives me chills.

The rest of the EP is filled with covers (Earth, Burzum and Von) and live performances. As I am not familiar with the originals it is hard to comment on the covers. Safe to say that monotonous blast of Von is way too minimalistic for me, while the single determined riff of Burzum is capable of invoking a trance-like state. If I had comments on the production of the EP studio tracks, live performance is as kvlt as they come, where you simply can’t hear a thing. I guess, if you were there, you could have appreciated it, but otherwise …

Not being capable to completely comprehend everything, it is clear to me that b>Nachtmystium creates heartfelt, confident and expressive black metal, full of inner feelings and short on poser attitude. I found myself strangely drawn to it. The fans of the genre are recommended to snag the remaining 999 copies. Quoting strictly on the EP tracks I would give the 5 tracks the mark below. In its own right Nachtmystium is outstanding, but for my personal melancholic endeavors I still prefer the cleaner sounds of In the Woods Weeping Willow (Omnio) and Greyswan Sleepless Night (Thought Tormented Minds).

Killing Songs :
Eulogy IV, The Wound Which Cannot Heal
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Nachtmystium that we have reviewed:
Nachtmystium - The World We Left Behind reviewed by Goat and quoted 50 / 100
Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. 2 reviewed by Charles and quoted 88 / 100
Nachtmystium - Doomsday Derelicts reviewed by James and quoted no quote
Nachtmystium - Worldfall reviewed by James and quoted no quote
To see all 10 reviews click here
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