Chicago-born trio Nachtmystium is the brainchild of frontman Blake Judd, who built a unique, ever-changing sound on a foundation of primitive black metal. The band started out in 2000 as a raw homage to Norwegian black metal, but Judd became disillusioned with the trendiness of the scene and ditched the corpse paint, stage names and other black metal conventions to sonically expand upon the basics. By introducing ambient, psyche, '70s rock and various other departures into territory once uncharted by black metal, Nachtmystium garnered critical acclaim for their amalgamated brand on 2006's Instinct: Decay. Sticking with the experimental vibe, vocalist/guitarist Judd -- the only constant member of Nachtmystium and the sole songwriter -- added guitarist Jeff Wilson and drummer Tony Laureano to his always revolving lineup of session musicians for 2008's much-anticipated Century Media debut, Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. 1.