Live at Roadburn MMX

Written by: EW on 15/08/2011 20:15:17

Live records these days are a hard one to judge, a format that was better served in the days of mass record sales than in the harsh music climate of today. Better saved for DVDs I say, or in the case with Nachtmystium's "Live at Roadburn MMX", served as a vinyl-release collector's edition to cherish.

Nachtmystium in their stereotypical black metal incarnation of years ago would nerve have suited such a release (and nor a festival such as the more typically doom/stoner/avant-garde Roadburn in the Netherlands) but their graceful transition into an experimental/psychedelic act over 2008's "Assassins" and last year's "Addicts" has been highly successful from a band and critic's point of view (if less so for the narrow-minded BM elitists the Americans have left behind) and can justifiably warrant this treatment.

The sound, though distant and clearly live, is warm and concise, with all instruments being in careful alignment with each other. The original spirit of tracks like "Your True Enemy", "A Seed For Suffering" and "Hellish Overdose" is maintained in performance with Blake Judd's spiteful vocals being the stand-out piece as he carries his persona, which is so at the heart of everything Nachtmystium these days, through their competent performances. Audience participation is sadly minimal at best (a factor all too often overlooked in live records imo) but the band's setlist of songs culled from the above two records, the 2009 EP "Doomsday Derelicts" and 2006's "Instinct: Decay" is exemplary and an effective showcase for the range of the band's variation in truly metal sounds.

"Live at Roadburn MMX" is naturally a nice addition to any big Nachtmystium's fan collection, but as a virtual live 'best of' it does not do too badly as an introduction to the band either for someone so far put off by the band's varied palette. For me, it also sums up the fact Nachtmystium are a fucking great band and they don't care if you think otherwise.

Download: Hellish Overdose, High On Hate, Assassins
For The Fans Of: Hawkwind & Pink Floyd through to Darkthrone
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 17.02.2011

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