If there’s one thing we know about firsthand, it’s being ripped off by Nachtmystium frontman Blake Judd. We’d scheduled the band to play our 2013 CMJ showcase, and he’d badgered us repeatedly over email for the money up front. The promoter relented and wired it to him, and of course, that show never happened for Nachtmystium. Instead of playing it, Judd instead hung out in a jail cell after being arrested for theft. Of course we didn’t get our money back, and we weren’t the only ones. The following year, Nachtmystium announced their “final” album, The World We Left Behind, but fans that pre-ordered the album from Judd himself were left high and dry, and after Century Media dealt with it directly, announced that Nachtmystium were dropped from the label. As of today, however, Judd has returned on a new label, Earache Records, that has acquired some of the black metal band’s back catalog.
The deal includes five studio albums, four EPs, a demo collection and a remix and rarities album that had only been on YouTube. As for Judd, his battles with heroin and not defrauding the people that like his music are well-known and go back a ways. And in making the announcement that the band have signed with Earache, it’s something he addresses in the press release:
Regarding the musician’s previous and widely-publicized personal issues, Judd adds: “Many people on the internet, understandably due to some issues that occurred in the past that I am very ashamed of, will be quick to jump on me personally and most likely Earache as well for announcing new releases without having directly addressed and taken action regarding the past issues mentioned above. Of course, what is being referred to here, is the issue of unfulfilled orders. When these releases have been actually scheduled and given proper release dates, another press release will go out and within this will be an e-mail address created specifically for this project and detailed instructions on how to receive records/CDs from me directly if you, at any point in time, ordered a record, t-shirt, etc. and did not receive the item(s). More information concerning this will be in the press release announcing the official release dates for these recordings.
“Thank you all for your patience and I do hope to make things right with everyone I can who fell victim to my addiction issues by not receiving orders for music or merchandise. I intend on giving away every single record and CD I receive of these reissues if that’s what it takes to make things right with the fans whom I wronged and did not fulfill orders for.”
As far as paying back fans that he’s ripped off in the past, it’s probably too little, too late for Judd. Many fans probably thought twice about ordering albums or merch from him in the first place and he squandered any good will they had towards him. Getting a CD or T-shirt from a band you wrote off years ago is a false victory. As far as Earache is concerned, that’s on them for signing Nachtmystium, and they knew what they were in for when signing him.. The Black Meddle albums were amazing, and Judd’s got a lot of talent. Most people deserve a second chance, but Judd has squandered third and fourth chances. If he’s truly sober and has his shit together, then more power to him, but forgive us for being a little skeptical.
Here’s the Nachtmystium stuff that’s going to be reissued on Earache:
Reign of the Malicious
The First Attacks – Demos 2000-2001
Eulogy IV (EP)
Assassins: Black Meddle, Pt. I
Doomsday Derelicts (EP)
Addicst: Black Meddle, Pt. II
Retox: Remixes and Rarities