A review of Ixaxaar:
I received this CD with much delight, being previously informed that unlike the majority of speed worship that death metal has capitulated to, this album supposedly exhibits an empathetic methodology to composition, hearing this was satisfying and it is with joy that I could reveal how Ixaxaar is one of the few useful things happening in Death Metal at the moment.
The elementary idea behind such music is the production, usually musicians need not an awkward environment were the music disintegrates into a riff and snare salad as most bands accomplish – yet clarity with limit to ensure prerogative. At a few intervals, the music perplexes me as the production lets down the musicianship, leaning everything towards a pile of indecipherable high tempo music aided by screams. Yet more often, Nox succeed at clarifying themselves at high speeds.
Rancorous rhythms pummeled into a wall of sound, revealing the dexterity of the stringed instruments section. Alternately picked riffs waver from time to time within unnecessary repetitiveness, but catchier and more melodic riffage is also present and undeniably a strong part of this bands songwriting ability. Continuous linear exchange of guitar styles raise the definition bar for older death metal bands still releasing material, examples of these include Behemoth, Deicide and Vader.
Lead portions have little meaning, except to proliferate the fertility level and depth of this music, legato runs and fast scales show these individuals can trade between solos and riffs with much skill but little understanding of how to make it unique and worth the listen. As tumultuous whammy bar antics are being pulled off, the stench of familiarity of this style is strong, as older bands such as Slayer have employed more effectively in terms of method and insertion within the songs.
Drummer Bob Dussel is a highly skilled drummer, yet it would be pleasing to see a skinsman who avoids the snare for a manageable section of any material released within the past 10 years. Creativity is obviously not an arsenal on the percussion side of things, rampaging blasts accompanied by low end toms all perfected at catastrophically high speeds with absolute precision.
After a thorough listen to the album, it is discernable that Nox make an effort to differentiate between a track and another, introductory rhythm is always helpful here, and Nox pull if off excessively well to make each listen one evoked out of curiosity, as the musicians wield different styles of technical music and precise atmospheric death metal. The vocals are standard, crying out endless lines of blasphemous lyric but intelligent phrases, Nietzsche inspired titles and approach, mildly interesting as it is derived from everything previously written during the 1980s.
Ixaxaar is completely absent minded when it comes to grooves, but mid tempo does exist, perfect execution of it is necessary to expand the musicality of the album, as mentioned before this being the strongest part of their structuring ability, the members value speed and have no problem revolving around it throughout most of a song, equating up to 3 – 4 minutes of intense workouts.
Where modern death metal bands build up intensity through multi layered vocals and crashing cymbals synced with guitar riffs and the vocals, Nox prefer to halt, then continue, halt, continue, halt, continue. On some songs, this fails, on others the creation of an interesting atmosphere more than what they had begun with makes it exciting and worthwhile. Hence this record gives the awkward feeling that Nox prefer to delve into speed and chaos but know it had better be avoided, inducing a pleasant equilibrium through the course of Ixaxaar.
Nox are, despite not having fully blossomed but definitely one of the few extreme metal projects of any relevance to the foundation of the genre, very solid ideologies through this work, but just dulled down by a bit too much aggression - yet creates interesting dimensions overall. Maturity is always an inevitable factor in the case of this type of music.