This MCD is the second CD release from Nachtmystium, an American band playing harsh Black Metal.
The songs here range from mid-paced to blistering in tempo. The guitar is tuned a bit high, giving it a biting sound much like Judas Iscariot, or Abyssic Hate. The drums are well played, with the cymbal being put to very good use during the more epic sections. Vocals are a croaking snarl, and display a great deal of range without making the lyrics too incomprehensible. The production is clear, though not overly so. It's a good complement to the slower sections' guitar work and drumming, yet it doesn't distract from the brutality of the faster parts of the album.
I enjoyed Nachtmystium's first CD, "Reign of the Malicious", but it soon dropped off of my playlist. This release is light years beyond that one in almost every way, though, so much so that the amount of improvement the band has undergone really surprised me. "Call of the Ancient" has been re-recorded from their first album, and so it may be the most obvious point of comparison. Where the original song featured muddy drumming and average vocals, the re-recording is excellent. The other songs are equally memorable, and the album closes with a fine cover of Judas Iscariot's "Gaze Upon Heaven in Flames". My only complaint is that some of the riffing seems slightly "done before". The songwriting is solid overall, but there's still some room for improvement.
I'm quite impressed by this MCD - not only is it a vast improvement over the first Nachtmystium release, it's also a fine album when taken on its own. I'd very much like to see a full-length album in this vein. Recommended for fans of Darkthrone, Judas Iscariot, or early Graveland.
Standout Tracks: Cold Tormentor (I've Become), Call of the Ancient