The end is nigh, and it will be ugly. With Silencing Machine, Nachtmystium's sixth album, Blake Judd and his fellow Chicago-based melodic black metallurgists have put together a fantastically tormented document — a recipe for Armageddon that promises things getting darkest before the death. Judd's rocky, breathless roar is Machine's most depressing element — which is quite a victory. "I am no one/I am ruin," he barks on "The Lepers of Destitution," resembling a massive sea beast in the process of coughing up his soul underwater. Though there is no shortage of pained or painful lyrics in metal, the grittiness and pacing of Judd's delivery make these worth tracking down. Instrumentally, Machine also rely on a dim palette, supplementing gray guitars and drums with occasional inflections of psychedelic and industrial rock. Nachtmystium use their synth lines smartly, too, by burying them in the murky production to create more tension and chaos. The album's downside is its tendency to belabor sounds, ideas, and track lengths, but that's a forgivable misdemeanor with so much first-rate work. Silencing Machine welcomes the joyless hour when we'll all be debris, and its expression of obliteration is a fascinating thing.