Nachtmystium – “Voyager” (Stereogum Premiere)
Early last month, Nachtmystium frontman/mastermind Blake Judd was arrested for theft. It was, perhaps, a long time coming, but just the same, for fans of the band, it was sad, upsetting news, putting a spotlight on Judd’s longtime struggles with addiction, as well as the widespread Internet rumors alleging Judd had failed to deliver on numerous orders of merch and music to both fans and labels. This past Saturday night, though, Judd posted an epic-length update on his personal Facebook page, announcing that he was out of jail, “home, alive, and well.” And the tone of his update was equally contrite, appreciative, and optimistic. Wrote Judd (in part):
It’s no secret to any of you that I’ve dealt with serious substance abuse issues (breaking a leg and getting a four month supply of oxycodone from a doctor is where that began back in 2009…not by deciding one day “Hey, I want to be an opiate addict!”). In regards to this issue, I’ve never tried to hide it, listen to the words in my music. It’s obvious what I’ve been dealing with. Today, however, I’m clean as a whistle THANKS to this situation I’ve been dealing with and I’m SO incredibly grateful that this happened, as it’s probably saved my life.
As for the merch issues and money stuff, yeah, I’ve fucked up with a lot of you and for this I’m terribly sorry. When you’re in the throes of addiction, you’ll find yourself doing things that are completely out of character because you’re enslaved by something more powerful than you at that point in time. I’m ashamed of whats happened regarding this as I’ve never wished to cheat anyone out of anything nor was it ever the intention, money just goes quick and ones priorities are completely fucked up when you’re in the place that I’ve been in on and off over the last few years. The only thing I can do is to do my best to start clearing up each and every debt that I can as I can afford it over the next few months and hope that will clear my name on this matter with each of you who fell victim to this unfortunate set of circumstances.
I’m leaving Chicago tomorrow and will not be coming back for quite some time. I’m choosing to spend the coming months with my family and getting additional treatment for my issues with substance abuse because this is the fucking bottom for me. I’ve hit it and hit it hard. I have no intentions of even attempting to play any shows or work on anything else music related until I’ve got my life 100% under control again. Actually, I’m not even sure if I will continue on with Nachtmystium, as it’s been a catalyst for chaos in my life in its very existence and what it represents creatively.
Most importantly I’ve made a lot of records that I’m very proud of that I know many of you (per your feedback to me) have enjoyed very much, and for that I’m so grateful. I can only hope that those records will serve your collections well for many years to come and be enjoyed time and time again. I have one more in the pipeline recorded last summer that will be out sometime early next year, appropriately titled (given the current climate of my life), “The World We Left Behind”, and I feel that it may be the perfect epitaph to this wild ride I’ve been on with Nachtmystium for the last thirteen and a half years.
As of today, I’ve heard about half of The World We Left Behind, and what I’ve heard, I absolutely love. The new album has many of the same qualities as my favorite Nachtmystium music — namely the band’s pair of 2008 releases, Assassins: Black Meddle Volume 1 and the Wordfall EP. It’s huge, catchy, hypnotic, and ripping, with honest, introspective lyrics. I’m comfortable saying it’s the best music Judd has made in five years, and based on what I’ve heard, right now, I think it could be the very best work of Judd’s career.
At present, the album doesn’t even have a release date, but Judd wanted to share a song today, “to put something positive out there and give the fans who are behind the band a little something new before I retreat into silence for a few months.” That song is “Voyager,” and it’s pretty goddamn incredible. It was written and produced by Judd (who also plays guitars, synth, and sings on it), recorded at Belle City Sound by Chris Wisco, with Tim Preciado on guitar, John Porada on bass, and Sam Shroyer on drums. Judd wrote a short statement on the song, and rather than cut it up, I’m including it in full here. Below that is the song itself, which fucking kills. Check it out.
Given everything that’s going on currently, I’ve decided to put something positive out there and give the fans who are behind the band a little something new before I retreat into silence for a few months. This is a track entitled “Voyager” off of our upcoming album, “The World We Left Behind”, that will be released in early spring 2014 on Century Media Records worldwide. I’ve chosen this track specifically because the lyrical content and motivation behind the music written for this track has everything to do with the demons I’ve been battling leading up to this very dark period of my life, and I felt that it rings true to everything that is happening right now. Enjoy this track and look for more news on this recording, me and the band in general later this year or in early 2014. Thanks again to everyone who’s written me personally or left a comment or a ‘like’ on my recent response to all of this via my personal Facebook account. Your support is something I am deeply grateful for.
See you all on the other side,
Blake Judd / Nachtmystium