Nachtmystium, Murmur, Krieg, Drug Honkey, Surachai 17+ Recommended Soundboard

When: Tue., July 31, 8 p.m. 2012

The two previous albums from Chicago black-metal institution Nachtmystium, Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. I (2008) and Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. II (2010), branched out in progressive directions, with ambitious overarching concepts, parades of guest musicians, and foregrounded electronic and psychedelic experiments. Their new sixth full-length, Silencing Machine (the band's first for Century Media), is a return to basics, and Nachtmystium's "basics" include an industrial influence, which they've definitely let off its leash to play—much has been made of how the nonalbum track "As Made" sounds like late-80s Ministry, and "Decimation, Annihilation," which is on the album, kind of does too. But this is still a solid, straightforward metal band in full roar, flexing its muscles this time out with a stripped-down sound that much more closely approximates its onstage presence. When I first listened to the new album, I occasionally missed the avant-garde surprises of the two previous records, sure, but not too often. The experience of making those records seems to have given the band a flair for arrangements that enriches the tone of even its most straight-ahead black metal—and sharpens the knife in the eye. —Monica Kendrick Murmur, Krieg, Drug Honkey, and Surachai open. 17+

Price: $15

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