Nachtmystium frontman Blake Judd has once again been accused by fans and business associates of engaging in shady practices, including scamming customers and failing to appear at live performances without explanation. Sources close to the situation tell MetalSucks that Judd’s actions are the result of his ongoing struggle with substance abuse.
Judd, you likely recall, has found himself at the center of such controversies before. The most recent allegations occurred in 2014, when his failure to deliver merch for which fans had already compensated him resulted in Nachtmystium’s then-label, Century Media, dropping the band after completing Judd’s unfulfilled orders. After a lengthy hiatus from the spotlight, Judd re-emerged in 2016, blaming his past troubles on addiction issues which, he asserted, he had since put behind him. He re-launched Nachtmystium that same year and vowed to make things right with fans — a vow he was making good on as recently as last year, when the band played their first show in five years and Judd offered legitimate refunds to customers he’d scammed while in the throes of addiction.
But 2018 has not been going as smoothly for Judd.
The initial reports of Judd being up to no good began in April, when MetalSucks received an e-mail from an independent record retailer in Portland, OR. The retailer claimed that Judd, acting on behalf of a new record label called Ascension Monuments Media, had failed to fulfill an order for which the retailer had already paid. At that time, MetalSucks reached out to AMM, and was assured by its owner, Noel Blaney, that the retailer in question had been taken care of and was “trying to cause problems for a guy [Judd] who has enough problems.” Blaney also claimed that Judd was just an employee of AMM, not a co-owner.
Blaney’s assertion, however, was a direct contradiction of the information contained in a separate online exchange between Blaney and the retailer, also forwarded to us by Blaney, in which he clearly states that Judd is one of the label’s owners.
The issue, the retailer told MetalSucks, was soon settled amicably.
Just a month later, however, Judd ran afoul of fans once again. Ascension Monuments Media claimed to have gotten their hands on classic pressings of Distant in Solitary Night by the revered one-man black metal project Judas Iscariot — the brain child of Andrew “Akhenaten” Harris — claiming the LPs were “dead stock” from the now-defunct Sombre Records:
“We recently purchased 40 (38 to be exact) copies of the black vinyl version of the Sombre Records (R.I.P.) pressing of Judas Iscariot’s ‘Distant In Solitary Night’ LP from a contact in Germany who claimed to have dead stock. We were skeptical at first, and paid for 10…and, well, the photo says it all. The other 28 are in route to us now. These are $35/unit because we paid $20 + s/h for each. They go for $150 on Discogs & EBay all the time, though, so in that regard – this is a steal!! Orders will begin shipping on or before June 4th, 2018. Available now!”
Shortly thereafter, in June, it was announced that Ascension Monuments Media and Nuclear War Now! would be reissuing several Judas Iscariot releases. This was a notable development for two reasons:
- Nuclear War Now! head honcho Yosuke Konishi was once in charge of a now-defunct anti-Judd Facebook page called Blakecrush. The fact that he was now willing to work with Judd was another check in the “Blake Has Turned His Life Around” column.
- When Harris disbanded Judas Iscariot and quit the black metal scene in the early aughts, he specifically stated that he didn’t ever want the JI albums to be re-pressed on vinyl. And yet, according to the announcement of the reissues, as posted by Konishi on the Nuclear War Now’s official message board, these reissues were approved by Harris himself:
“These are official releases, done with the permission of the artist and the involved record labels. This agreement was made years ago with the artist.
“Blake has known Andy for years, and saw him as recently as 2011. Everyone knows Andy has made it explicitly clear that he was out of the scene and never returning. The reasons of that do not matter, and he certainly isn’t resurfacing because of this crap.
“We were told as long as the labels which released these titles on CD, and have managed them over the years, are on-board and compensated then everything is good to go.”
It was around this time that real problems began to arise. First, fans who purchased the Distant in Solitary Night LPs noticed that the album art featured a white solid border which had not, in fact, ever appeared on Sombre Records’ original pressings. Upon further inspection, customers noted that the vinyl had rubbed-out Ascension Monuments matrix numbers (the alphanumeric codes used by record manufacturing plants), further suggesting they were not Sombre Records originals. Additionally, Judd was spotted on social media requesting photographs of the center labels from the original Distant pressing — photos which, some argued, could be used to re-create those labels for the purpose of passing off bootlegs as originals.
Acting on behalf of AMM, Erica (sometimes ‘Erikah’) Blaney — Noel’s sister, Judd’s romantic partner — soon sent customers the below e-mail, alleging that the label, too, had been duped, while downplaying the severity of the con by praising the bootlegs’ audio quality:
“Hi everyone –
“If you are receiving this email, it means that you either have purchased or are interested in purchasing a copy of the distributed title that we stocked recently from Judas Iscariot’s “Distant in Solitary Night” album on vinyl. This LP was advertised on our website as a Sombre Records pressing, which is what the product had been presented to AMM as. We are reaching out to inform our customers that upon inspection after their arrival, it has been determined that these are an unofficial (aka ‘bootleg’) pressing.
“We had received an email from an individual in Germany awhile after we had begun corresponding with numerous labels, stores, artists and individuals around the world regarding our upcoming Judas Iscariot releases. He claimed he used to work with the now-deceased Sombre Records owner, Marcel Spaller, during the early days of the label & had remained personal friends. Names, dates, events and details were mentioned that seemed to further validate their credentials as truth. Before purchasing, we were sent photos of the 38 LP’s that were being offered, one photo of all the LP’s to prove quantity (spine side out in a shelf) & one photo showing a paper with the date hand written on it & some records laid out overlapped, showing the hand-numbered backs (face down). With our skepticism eased & excitement overshadowing any remaining doubts, the trigger was pulled on purchasing the records. We did not receive a wholesale, label or bulk deal & AMM paid the cost of shipping all of them from Germany to the US.
“It was decided that these LP’s would only be sold via Bandcamp as a way to show appreciation to AMM supporters & dedicated JI fans instead of appearing greedy by putting them on eBay or Discogs in order to fetch a higher asking price like we could have. A photo of the LPs were posted to the AMM Bandcamp page after we had confirmation via tracking information that they had made it out of Germany & were on their way to us, but before we had actually seen them in person. The picture posted onto the AMM social media pages after the records arrived led to some questions regarding the record’s authenticity. A few dedicated fans lucky enough to own the original Sombre pressing (we had no way to compare it to an original) noticed that there seemed to be some slight variations between the original version & the version we received. We immediately did our homework & were unfortunately able to determine that the copies we had received were bootlegs. We have attempted to make contact with the seller with no luck thus far.
“The LP’s we have do indeed have the ‘Sombre Records’ logo on the back cover. They appear to be hand-numbered ( # / 100). They come in very thick black jackets. The vinyl is 180 gram plain black vinyl (a dead giveaway to us that something was amiss). As audiophiles, at least we can report that the records honestly sound great.
“At the end of the day, we are all huge fans here at AMM. We don’t own original copies & maybe never will, so this LP is welcomed in our collections. Due to the fact that they don’t look, sound or feel like an offensively cheap knock-off, we do not regret buying these at all. We had the best intentions when we made these available to all of you. We do regret that we had misinformed our customers & the JI fanbase; it was not our intention to deceive anyone. For that misunderstanding, we sincerely apologize.
“With all of that out in the open, we’ve halted shipping on ALL copies until we hear back from each customer that has ordered. We will refund your order if you request to do so via emailing back to this email. If you would like to receive your copy or purchase a copy (as I now have some available due to cancellations), then please send a reply back to this email. We are throwing in some awesome JI & AMM merch as our way of showing our apologies for any misunderstandings that may have occurred & to show our appreciation to those getting a copy.
“On behalf of the AMM staff,
“Co-owner/ customer service & media manager”
Erica went on to assert that Judd wanted the photos so as to verify the authenticity of the initial Distant LPs that AMM had purchased.
Understandably, many fans now started to question the credibility of the claim that Andrew Harris had sanctioned the other Judas Iscariot reissues. In a subsequent, quite lengthy Facebook post which has since been deleted, Judd sought to clarify the situation. He once again stressed that “I do not own Ascension Monuments Media,” and shared the story of how he came to have the rights to reissue Judas Iscariot’s albums. Here is an excerpt of Judd’s post:
“These reissues are not fucking bootlegs. They’re a response to a bootleg. Know how this came about?? I asked Andy YEARS ago (years after the 2002 departure…think this conversation was on the ‘Assassins’ tour in California in 2008 if memory serves me right) I said to him “Hey man, so what happens the day that someone does some shitty fucking bootleg of one of your albums? Is that the day that it’s ok for me or Neill (his two best buds, both of whom had labels at the time or in very recent years) to do some legit reissues to make sure that the records are being presented respectfully and in a high quality package and that people like Red Stream and Elegy Records who’ve been handling the CD’s for years and honoring your ‘no new vinyl license’ policy you left them with are being compensated from the sales of said-new-pressings for being loyal to you all these years?” And his response was “the day that you see someone cheaply bootlegging Judas Iscariot is the day that you can do what you feel is right for these records. I left Judas Iscariot in the past and am not getting involved if that day comes. But, I’d rather my friends and old chosen associates be the ones to do it rather than some greedy bootlegger”. That might not be a direct word-for-word quote, it was said to me nearly a decade ago, but it’s pretty much the gist of it. And that’s exactly whats happening. Andy was reached, briefly (I won’t lie, I don’t talk to him with any regularity these days, but I do know how to reach him and did prior to any of this, because this is the last man on earth alongside my immediate family that I’d ever fucking disrespect in any way, for the aforementioned multitude of reasons) and was given the opportunity to tell us (AMM & NWN) “no” in the wake of me watching some guy literally pedal cheap / shitty single sleeve “Heaven in Flames” LP bootlegs on ebay for $50 apiece for 6 months straight (where were all of you defenders of the underground then? When someone was actually committing a crime against a body of work from an artist you’re all dying to discuss?) That’s how this came about.”
This statement further raised suspicion amongst fans, because a) it posited that the Judas Iscariot reissues were being produced as the result of an unverifiable handshake agreement, and b) it means that AMM were the ones selling the bootlegs which subsequently allowed the label to also reissue other Judas Iscariot releases.
Judd’s entire post, if you care to peruse it, is below. Otherwise scroll a little further down to skip ahead.
“Alright everyone. Here I am. The big bad Blake Judd. Yes, the real me. The big bad rip off. You guys seriously just made me feel more important than I have since my head was shoved so far up my own ass for most of the last decade which I spent believing the hype and bullshit press cock-suckings I received on a daily basis for most of my 20’s. Seriously….I can’t believe you all care so much. I’d say its flattering, but it’s not, it’s kind of sad really. Don’t you guys have anything better to do?
“Anyways – here’s the facts:
1. I do not own Ascension Monuments Media. Ascension Monuments Media is owned by Noel Blaney. A direct relative of my better half, who is also involved. Beyond that, we have Nic (who posts here), he lives in Texas and works for the label doing social media management (which is literally 50% fielding bullshit slung by you guys I’m pretty sure.) I do some A&R stuff for the label, utilize the resources and friends I have in the music community to try to bring in anything I can that I feel is good for our business. (and, yes, we are a business. Tax ID number, payroll, the whole nine yards. I’m far from the colossal fuck up you guys all think I am, and the business I work for is very much happy to have my skill set to help with these types of things. I don’t have the luxury to be making any kind of mistakes, so I make sure we don’t to the best of my abilities. And oh yeah – insert post below here where someone laughs at the “utilize my resources and friends” comment suggesting I have no friends. You’re wrong, I have like 4 friends, and I only really like 2 or 3 of them. Thats true.) Anyways – the little FMP board black metal internet idiot spirit is starting to awaken in me, and I’m going to do myself and all of you a favor and try to keep this humble, honest and to the point (theres the joke opportunity again…honest…what the fuck do I know about that, right? HA!) Here we go…
“- AMM is a 5 person operation. Not 5 people who hang out and treat it like a hobby. Not 5 friends that do it on their free time. No, everyone working for this label at this point (Nic was wrong in his earlier post, Noel is 100% AMM employed these days like the rest of us) is full-time.
“- We just recently hired a guy named Jean (I’ll keep his last name private), Jean was a drummer for Nachtmystium at one point many years ago and also played in NWN-signed band, Sanguis Imperem. He’s a hell of a hard worker and, ever more so, ahell of a guy.
“- Preorders: everyone on here is preaching all this doom and gloom over our preorders. Do you know what we did over the weekend? We shipped (literally) 700 preorders for the most recent Leviathan digipak CD and cassette, a new Twilight release, and a CD from our new signing, Suicide Forest. Theres still a shitload of open orders for merchandise, etc that need filled, and we’re getting to it in a completely appropriate time frame, as we have with all of our (checking my bandcamp app now…..) 5,602 orders since we opened 14 months ago. To this day, we have had 22 disputes. 5 of them were resolved by the buyer closing them after realizing thered been a simple mistake or misunderstanding. Not one of them resulted in someone not getting their record or their money. Prove otherwise and I’ll hit the street again and buy a bag, because clearly reality is fucking lying to me if thats the case.
“- Emails / posts to social media asking where your order is:
It’s in the bandcamp orders log in our Bandcamp account. And you know what? We don’t have time to answer your emails instantly because theres someone else just like you who sent money to us for merchandise we have in stock and, chances are, theres one or two of us working on getting that packed up as we speak. Your order is protected by Bandcamp, and by Paypal and by the 4 other people who work with me – and believe it or not, by me as well! I don’t have a lot of ‘open doors’ for work in my life due to poor choices I’ve made in my past – so I take this really fucking seriously because if I fail or it fails, I’m fucked. Keep that in mind as you all sit here and run your stupid mouths about me ‘ripping people off’. That’d be the stupidest fucking thing I could ever do. And that’s not because I’m trying to be some nice guy or prove that I’m some ‘changed righteous dude’. No, it’s because I’m a well-weathered ex-drug addict who’s a lot more comfortable back in the confines of my cushy, southern California apartment with my hot girlfriend and my cats rather than being out on the streets trying to figure out how to scrape up 10 bucks before I puke on or shit myself again because i’m strung out again. I spent 10 months in treatment and halfway houses between late 2015 and late 2016 getting my shit together so that I never have to go through that again. If they (my coworkers) thought for one second I (or any of us) were stealing money from a customer, that would be my (or whoever it was’) last day here. In my case, it’d be suicide for my very-hard-earned normal life I’ve busted my ass to earn back for myself.
“Don’t be fooled. If you know me, you know that I’ve got skin thicker than leather, I’ve got drive that most people couldn’t ever dream of having, and I’ve got balls of fucking steel. You can say whatever the fuck you want about me on here. To me, the jokes very much on you…..you’re sitting around talking about some dude who’s not shown his face in 5 years and arguing about how the owner of the label who’s forum you’ve chosen to come sit on is working with me (his old friend, do you morons know Yosuke and I have known each other since I was still living with my parents in my late teens? He’s been to the house I grew up in and moved out of 18 years ago…Yosuke was as pissed as he was about me fucking him out of merchandise a few years ago I’m pretty sure (in part at least) also because he got burned by his buddy of a lot of years. We’re not best friends, we never have been and probably never will be. I’m well aware he’s not into my bands, and I’m pretty sure he’s well aware that I’m not as obsessed with goats and gas masks and bands that sound like Blasphemy as he is. But what we both are are people who actually have made a serious fucking mark on the metal scene – for good or for bad, music or business, right or wrong. No one can deny that we’ve both been ambitious and successful in our endeavors. Yosuke’s also not an idiot…he wouldn’t be working with me if I was a threat to him in any way. (pretty sure I’ve got something like $5,000 + another $2K worth of merchandise of Yosuke’s in my possession currently in terms of records he’s already paid for that are at press, merchandise he’s fronted me (at his suggestion, not my or my coworkers request) , and other business dealings we’ve got going on.) If that doesn’t tell you something, in combination with the fact that aside from this sudden influx of like 20-25 of you turds that ordered a bunch of records when the Judas Iscariot reissues were the coolest thing on your radar prior to finding out I was one of the people who MIGHT pack your record up or may be dealing with the pressing plant to make sure these records are top fucking quality because I give a shit (not to mention, I’m a guy who’s literally made albums with the man behind the band and owes his career to him because he got Nachtmystium’s first two record deals and literally recorded our 2nd album for us when I was 18 years old and has since traveled extensively with Nachtmystium on tour and gone on metal road trips with me..SOTNC 2006/07? / Archgoat – Austin TX anyone? Remember? That was long after 2002…and I’ve seen him a number of times since then. We’re old friends and deeply respect each other as musicians and as people.) These reissues are not fucking bootlegs. They’re a response to a bootleg. Know how this came about?? I asked Andy YEARS ago (years after the 2002 departure…think this conversation was on the ‘Assassins’ tour in California in 2008 if memory serves me right) I said to him “Hey man, so what happens the day that someone does some shitty fucking bootleg of one of your albums? Is that the day that it’s ok for me or Neill (his two best buds, both of whom had labels at the time or in very recent years) to do some legit reissues to make sure that the records are being presented respectfully and in a high quality package and that people like Red Stream and Elegy Records who’ve been handling the CD’s for years and honoring your ‘no new vinyl license’ policy you left them with are being compensated from the sales of said-new-pressings for being loyal to you all these years?” And his response was “the day that you see someone cheaply bootlegging Judas Iscariot is the day that you can do what you feel is right for these records. I left Judas Iscariot in the past and am not getting involved if that day comes. But, I’d rather my friends and old chosen associates be the ones to do it rather than some greedy bootlegger”. That might not be a direct word-for-word quote, it was said to me nearly a decade ago, but it’s pretty much the gist of it. And that’s exactly whats happening. Andy was reached, briefly (I won’t lie, I don’t talk to him with any regularity these days, but I do know how to reach him and did prior to any of this, because this is the last man on earth alongside my immediate family that I’d ever fucking disrespect in any way, for the aforementioned multitude of reasons) and was given the opportunity to tell us (AMM & NWN) “no” in the wake of me watching some guy literally pedal cheap / shitty single sleeve “Heaven in Flames” LP bootlegs on ebay for $50 apiece for 6 months straight (where were all of you defenders of the underground then? When someone was actually committing a crime against a body of work from an artist you’re all dying to discuss?) That’s how this came about. I had some words with Neill and Jef Whitehead about it, I got in touch with Pat from Red Stream and Rob from Elegy (and thats correct, we did not contact No Colours, because to the best of my knowledge No Colours did vinyl pressings years ago for a couple of these records and thats about it….Pat McCahan from Red Stream has manned the albums we’re releasing and been the guardian of them (along with Rob Elegy in regard to “Of Great Eternity” and the Weltmacht debut) in the territory most relevant to where the company I’m a part of operates from. And quite frankly, Steffen’s a fucking pain in the ass to deal with and has a shitty attitude towards me and has for years – and I don’t really give a shit what anyone thinks or feels about that, including you reading this or him over in Germany. I’m going to send him a box of 75 “Corpses” and “Dethroned” LP’s because thats what I committed to when we agreed to do this. If he’s not happy with $1500 worth of free vinyl, I don’t know what to tell him. Oh well….guess what guys, if he still doesn’t like me, its not going to change a whole hell of a lot for me.
“If you think that I’m going to let a single one of you go ‘I TOLD YA SO!’ or that my partners at the label here are going to ever let that happen, you’re completely out of your fucking minds. I’ve got zero desire to be shitty to anyone, steal from anyone, start using drugs again (oh, by the way – October 17th 2018 is 3 years off dope guys. I’m not ‘sober’, I smoke pot – which is legal where I live. that’s it. No drinking. No hard drugs. Life’s a lot better this way. I suck at doing drugs. we all know that. I’m also way less of an asshole without them OR Nachtmystium in my life these days.)
“i will not respond to any of you on here. I’m not going to get dragged into this a single step beyond this post (which is already WAY too fucking long and I’m sure will be hyper analyzed and heckled by you guys for 20 more pages once I’m done) You can’t hurt my feelings, because I really don’t care. I speak up here in defense of the company I’m a part of, which is absolutely legit. No ones ‘bit off more than they can chew’, and as a matter of fact, we have literally 5 or 6 other releases in production that aren’t up for pre-order right now. We did the preorders initially to help pay down some of our credit card debt for some of the earliest titles that are pending in production (namely the Leviathan ‘The First Sub Level of Suicide’ picture LP + one-sided 7″ EP and Glorior Belli ‘O’Lavdate Dominvs’ LP that are both literally going to be landing on our door step any day now and begin shipping immediately. That’ll take care of another 600-700 of those preorders – and we’re prepared top handle it. had about $1000 worth of vinyl mailers and 12″x12″ card board inserts show up here today for the occasion in fact) We aren’t using preorder money to finance these releases. They’re actually ALL paid for. A few of them are already nearing completion and will be here well before their release date. All the extra items for the fancy / collectors versions are either already made or nearing completion of production. We’re on top of our shit. The only thing we don’t have the time we’d like for honestly is answering emails from any customers inquiring about things. But ya know what – I’m not certain when I say this – but I bet Yosuke could get right here with me and tell all of you you have NO IDEA how much email labels that are doing volume like we both are receive. There are only so many of us. We’re going to prioritize our time on delivering a product instead of talking about it. If theres time when thats done, then we”ll get to the emails. If you REALLY have a problem or just can’t stand knowing that I might have access to your preorder money (which I absolutely do, right this minute, in fact) and we aren’t responding to your email about wanting a refund because you’re too into scene politics and not enough into owning killer high quality versions of classic albums, then open a paypal dispute and we’ll refund you. We’ll get to it either way, but thats a way to get our attention quicker because we aren’t going to fuck around with Paypal. Theres PLENTY of happy / repeat customers patiently awaiting their items, we can afford to send your little $100 back so you can roll the dice on getting a copy from Yosuke instead (which is funny, because we’ literally are sharing just about everything on these records) You’re not taking money out my pocket by moving it from AMM’s paypal account to his, but you can think that if you want. It will ensure only one thing: you’ll be put on a list of names we’ve got going that are never allowed to order from us again, and we run every order against them. We have some really, really amazing releases beyond these on the horizon as well, so think long and hard before you do that. This is the one kind of juvenile reaction I’ve had to all of this was the insistence of the list – and it’s being propped up and supported by my co-workers. No ones hurting for money around here. We don’t want yours anymore than you want to give it to us if big bad me is around. Happy to send it on back and send you on your way somewhere else for your records.
“I really hope this clears the air for some of you. I’ve done all I can to pay back the people I shafted years ago, and those people will tell you I did so. I didn’t do it looking for you all to suddenly like me, I did it because it’s the right thing to do and I wanted to feel like I had any business doing what I’m doing now. I know, with utter certainty, that I’ve done that to the best / fullest of my abilities and I take zero shame in resurfacing in the metal community because this music is my entire life. It’s at the core of who I am. Unlike 99% of you, this is ALL I’ve ever done for a job throughout my entire adult life. So anyone who wants to talk to me about dedication, being ” true” or what the fuck ever – say what you will. My life is dedicated to the music that I love and I’m doing my best to provide a service with my partners to make more music we think is amazing available to the people who wish to buy. If that makes me whatever you want to call me, so be it.”
And yet, the problems for Blake and AMM continued to worsen.
First, customers snapped photos of the certificates of authenticity that AMM had issued with sold Leviathan test pressings. The certificates clearly note Judd as one of the label’s owners. This only bolstered fans’ doubts regarding the credibility of anything Judd or AMM said.
Next, Encyclopedia Metallum made the claim that Harris “has described these [reissues] as ‘disgraceful unauthorized bootlegs.’” MetalSucks has not been able to authenticate this quote and are not sure who was ultimately able to contact Harris.
Still, it gets worse. It turns out that quite a few of these reissues were pre-ordered… and a myriad of fans online started complaining that, true to Judd’s history, these orders were going unfulfilled. At the same time, AMM’s Facebook and Bandcamp pages were deactivated, and remain so as of this writing.
Then, in August, Leviathan mastermind Jef Whitehead, who had released a demos collection with AMM and had announced plans to put out more music through them, abruptly severed ties with the label.
Just this past Friday night, October 19, a Los Angeles-area promoter alleged that Judd “was a No Call, No Show” for a scheduled live tribute to Mayhem and Burzum. Angie Gabriel, co-founder of the promotion/booking/band services company Metal Invictus, posted the following on Facebook:
“Thank you to all who came to last night’s show!! Our headliner was a No Call,No Show. We had an impromptu band set up and perform (thank you guys). I just want to give a big FUCK YOU to Blake Judd. Your carrear is over again. Just stay in your hole, the metal community is done with FLAKE JUDD. At least a text message saying ‘hey were not going to make it’ or ‘We had an emergency, can’t make it’ would have been sufficient. I had a room full of people waiting to see your magic.. and you pull a NO CALL, NO SHOW, totally unprofessional. You are done in the LA metal community…. AGAIN. I should have listened to my friends. #Dontbelikeblake#givehimtheboots“
Included with Gabriel’s post was a screen cap of her text conversation with Judd confirming his scheduled appearance:
Even as MetalSucks has been working on this report, more allegations against Judd have continued to surface. Yesterday, fans on Reddit began to spread warnings of a new Ascension Monuments Media scam. A man introducing himself as Jacob Treush, owner of “a company called Sound Seance Records out of Louisville, KY,” has solicited sales of AMM releases from former AMM customers via the online shop Reverb LP. Excerpts from one fan’s lengthy recount of this exchange are below (you can read the entire thing at the bottom of this post):
Once the Redditor paid for his goods, though, Jacob Treush cut off all communication:
The online community quickly began to speculate that ‘Jacob Treush’ might, in fact, be Judd himself — speculation which MetalSucks can now confirm. Nic Huber, a MS contributor who did PR for Ascension Monuments Media when the label first launched, tells us via e-mail:
“I know for a 100% fact that Blake is behind this. ‘Sound Seance’ was a name he was going to use for a storefront record shop that didn’t pan out. We both know a bunch of dudes in Louisville, and no one has ever heard of Jacob Treush. Blake’s parents live there, and that is also where he went to rehab this last go-around.”
As if there was still any doubt, Jake Treush’s public Venmo account includes a payment “from Blake.”
Most distressingly, a source close to Judd, speaking to MetalSucks on the condition of anonymity, says that Blake is scamming fans again because he’s hooked on drugs again, and has even been dealing with Erikah Blaney on the side. “Blake has everyone fooled,” says the source. “Blake and Erikah were buying large large quantities of meth and selling the excess that they weren’t using themselves. Blake just switched drugs so it was hard I think for those close to him to notice. It didn’t look the same as heroin. He has never been clean, or was only clean for a very short period of time.”
Because of both the reliability of our sources and our own past experiences reporting on Judd’s infractions, MetalSucks decided to break from tradition and not reach out to Judd for comment on this report. The chance of there being any logical narrative that would explain all of these incidents away as coincidence is nil. We have always been fans of Judd’s music, and we have long rooted for him to overcome his debilitating addictions. But, sadly, we’re not sure there’s any place in metal for him anymore.