Release DetailsLABEL Earache
RELEASED ON 4/24/2007
posted on 5/2007 By:
Having only released a three song EP over four years ago, Nox could have easily faded into obscurity but with Ixaxaar, their first proper full length, they’re sure not going quietly. Playing a precise, vitriolic strain of blast heavy death metal that, apart from the solos and occasional groove sections, could easily pass for straight grind most of the time, this record is just a beast from start to finish. At times it brings to mind a less beefy, more grind version of Nile, full of intricate riffs played with pinpoint precision at an amazing velocity and at other times, particularly when they’re blasting away, it reminds me a bit of the razor sharp, crust free blasting of Blood Red Throne, sans the thrash riffs.
Being rather impressed with the musicianship, especially for a debut record in such a physically demanding genre, I was curious to see if these guys were veterans of other acts. From what I gather they have a couple members of Severe Torture which of course makes a lot of sense now and is, despite the above references, probably the best starting point for describing Nox’s sound.
Although the parallels to Severe Torture are there, Nox does have just enough differentiation to qualify as a distinct entity. First off the vocals are far less burpy, instead bringing to mind a more classic old school death metal growl somewhat like Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under) which is a plus in my book. And in what seems like a game of one-upmanship with their other band, Nox is intent on blasting you into submission with a leaner, meaner brand of death metal that is just absolutely relentless. At times the music suffers a bit from this in the same way so many tech metal outfits do, with loads of savage yet ultimately forgettable riffing that seems to want to impress you more with its speed than its replay value. Of course they could have countered this by upping the percentage of groove based death metal elements but then they would really be stepping on Severe Torture’s toes. By sticking with such a caustic blend of tech death and grindcore, they’ve managed to stake out even more extreme metal ground than their already vicious musical cousins.
While I can appreciate the venomous hatred of the music and stamina required to play it, it in turn requires a bit too much of my own stamina to stay the course start to finish. Personally I think for the amount of pure blasting going on, they should have looked at shortening the typically three to four minute songs to the more typical one to two minute lengths used by straight grind bands. Instead, the furious pace, consistently maintained over these multi-minute tech grind explosions, gets a bit exhausting after a few songs. That issue aside, fans of extreme death metal will certainly find a lot to like here, especially since it’s been a couple years since the last Severe Torture record.
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