Sunday, July 06, 2014

Nux Vomica: Nux Vomica (2014)

Working for It

It’s pretty easy to write a review when the music fits into some clearly-defined box. Nux Vomica actually made me work. You wonderful bastards.

So, this record is definitely a slow burner. That’s another reason I had to work so hard to wrap my head around it. It’s moody, acidic, blistering and beautiful. There are some punk sounds in the vein of Amebix when they speed up, but that’s not what they’re doing most of the time. Indeed, when I think “punk” I don’t think of an album with three songs ranging from 12 to 20 minutes. If it’s crust, it’s the doom-crust of Embers, fit more for metalheads than that other crowd.

Even when I lay out all of those details, it’s still impossible to succinctly describe the music on the band’s self-titled album. There’s an incredible variety in each of these tunes. The rhythmic patterns and riffs are always changing, and they play with every dynamic of speed, texture, and volume that’s worth exploring. For one minute it sounds like Cascadian black metal, but the next it’s the black-crust of Okkultokrati. Every step of the way, melody plays a big part.

In sum, the best I can do is tell you whether I think you’ll like it. If you’ve ever liked Tombs, or Embers, then yes. Or, if you’re looking for a challenging metal record and don’t want predictability. Nux Vomica don’t easily fit in a box. That’s a good thing.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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