Blake Judd — the man behind Nachtmystium, Twilight, and Hate Meditation — is one of American black metal’s foremost innovators. The third and fourth Nacht albums, 2006′s Instinct: Decay, and 2008′s Assassins: Black Meddle, Part 1, are pretty comfortably in the list of the 10 best USBM albums ever, if not the top 5. Heck, a new, unmixed Nachtmystium recording made our list of September’s best new metal tracks. As a mainstream-leaning trailblazer, he’s long been a source of scenester invective (Brandon referred to Nachtmystium as “M.I.A. for black metal kids” back in 2010), but Judd has increasingly been the source of controversy totally unrelated to his music. There are numerous message-board and Facebook-wall conversations like this one, accusing the man of pulling internet scams on fans, the gist of which goes like this: Fan sends money to Judd for Nachtmystium merch; Nachtmystium merch never arrives. Judd responded at length to those accusations this past April. Yesterday, though, Judd was arrested in Chicago on charges of theft. Whether this is related to the internet-fan outrage is unclear; the details of his arrest haven’t been made totally explicit. Per MetalSucks, Judd was arrested on charges of “theft by unauthorized control of property not exceeding $500. The Illinois General Assembly defines this crime as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries with it a ’determinate [prison] sentence of less than one year.’ Judd’s bail has been set at $25,000, with a court date set for this Friday, October 11.” That’s his mugshot above. Nachtmystium is booked to play a CMJ showcase with the excellent Vattnet Viskar next Wednesday. I’m hoping Blake and Co. make it to NYC — and I plan to be in attendance either way — but I’m not holding my breath. Anyway, I’ll post updates here as I hear ’em.
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