Second, Judd also understands rock music and not just that of the extreme metal subgenres. Traditional rock n’ roll, psychedelic rock, metal, you name it, Judd has shown himself to be a student of many genres. Third, and most importantly, Judd draws upon his knowledge of both black metal and rock music to write, and perform, just really kick ass rock n’ roll gussied up as black metal. Truth to be told, Judd does occasionally miss, as was demonstrated by the erratic Addicts, but he hits more often than not as is shown by the high quality of Instinct: Decay, Assassins, and now Silencing Machine.
Silencing Machine is a perfect balancing act amongst the different approaches of Instinct: Decay, Assassins and Addicts. Judd draws upon his black metal roots with a few songs consisting of all out blasts, dissonance, and hoary rasps; but, psychedelics are given prominence with a slower pace, a few tripped out guitar solos, moments of ambience, and a few sly inclusions of keyboards and other subtle effects.
Weirdness and the bold confidence to experiment and not really give a damn what people think manifests in a few strange digressions from rock music into some sort of R & B derivative. Before you roll your eyes, particularly those of you that were less than enamored with Addicts, Judd does make it all work with seamless songwriting and excellent performances from top notch musicians, including second guitarist Aamonael of Avichi.
In lesser hands, Silencing Machine could quickly devolve into an incoherent mess, but Judd pulls it all together into a cohesive whole, and really does deliver a kick ass rock n’ roll record.
(released July 31, 2012 on Century Media Records)