Being that NOX has some occult ritualistic meaning and titles of songs on this album conjure the black arts, I was expecting a Black Metal record. That anticipation was proven misguided in about say, oh I don’t know, 3 seconds flat! That short time into the opening track and there was no doubt I was in for a bloody beating from some hammering Death Metal. This isn’t your slow paced DM either; this stuff barrels out at a hundred miles an hour, with drummer Bob Dussel cracking away at the bell on his ride cymbal like a fuckin’ jackhammer. Melody is thrown under the bus on “Ixxaxaar” to make way for sheer brutality, no letting up along the way at all. “Zacar Od Zamran” ravages through a landscape of oppressive DM that NOX has a complete map to, its suffocating power evident in every riff and beat. There isn’t a great deal of variation on this album, reminiscent of recent efforts by KRISIUN or ORIGIN, and if you enjoy a good dose of ferocity then look no further than this effort by these Dutchmen. Moving along its path from fast to holy shit fast, “Insane Hatred For The Supposed Creator” then at least gives some time to breath and appreciate a shift for a brief moment in this blistering release.
From what I gleaned off of NOX’s webpage and the info sent with the promo, the band are apparently serious occultists with connections to that belief system’s underground. Of course, that begs the question, is there an occult mainstream? Well, lyrics are not high on my agenda when I judge an album, and the next time I read the entire thoughts of a band in their songs will be the first time in many years. What is of sole importance then is the music and my reaction to it (wow, that’s some revelation for a reviewer, eh?). So, does “Ixxaxaar” tickle the metallic fancy of your humble writer? It does and doesn’t to be perfectly blunt and boring. I am all for getting a beating through the severe music NOX execute deftly, its weight being just the trick for when aggression is an aural aspiration. But, the album can be a bit dull at times, monotone and repetitive. You can be absolutely crushing and still mix in some tone or atmospheric alterations. Maybe I’m seeking at times something different as I get even more grey hair, as a release like “Ixxaxaar” would have had me wailing in joy not long ago. As it is, the album satiates part of me and leaves another grasping for a little more.
(Online May 18, 2007)