Review Summary: Dutch death metal band Nox is here to crush you.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Armed with ex Prostitute Disfigurement vocalist Niels Adams Nox is here to rip your guts out with their satanic brand of death that is sure to make you kneel at the altar of the metal gods. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but Nox's full length definitely packs a punch. Ixaxaar obviously takes much of it's influence from the old school death metal scene but in the end they take that sound and sculpt it into their own.
All the players are very capable of beating you into submission with their instrument of choice and that is mainly what this album showcases. From the kickass riffs to the beastly drumming that pummels you from the moment the record begins to the very last note. At times the songs may seem like pure chaos in the form of music but if one takes the time to single out each individual instrument it can easily be deciphered as wonderful metal being played in a way that at lack of a better term, slays.
The playing throughout the record is very spot on and tight. Nox maintains their brutality while remaining technically impressive which is not a simple feat, for any band to pull of this sound without it sounding disastrous is impressive in itself. Niel Adams vocal performance on the record is flawless and shows a great deal of range within the extreme metal style. The vocal layering also helps from keeping the sound fresh. Keep in mind just because Niel has been with Prostitute Disfigurement this doesn't rub off on Nox's overall sound. Don't go in expecting anything like that because if you do you will be sadly mistaken.
The more melodic guitarwork and the record proves to create the best moments throughout it's play time. The soloing is also another one of the many highlights of Ixaxaar, most sticking to the melodic style of soloing that is capable of causing most listeners to need a new pair of pants before all is said and done.
Nox sticks to a fairly fast pace through most of the album, but at times when they leave their comfort zone and slow it down the results are cataclysmic. This is shown on "Intoxicated With Death" which brings one of the best grooves on the album creating a crushing song to say the least. Considering that Nox's speedy playing style might prove tiresome to some it is good that they chose to slow it down occasionally even if it may disrupt the pacing of the album.
The drumming may be the weakest part of the album overall, while at times the drumming is excellent at certain points it lacks the variation needed to hold the listeners attention. It is never in question whether the drummer is a talented musician or not but at times it does seem that he needs switch it up more often than he chooses. Another thing that slightly brings the album down is the lack of audible bass. Which unfortunately is an element that goes hand and hand with many death metal releases. A little skillful bass playing certainly wouldn't have hurt the overall sound of the album.
Overall if you are looking for quality death metal, or simply to get your *** packed then Nox's album Ixaxaar might be your cup of tea, if not step aside and let someone worthy feast on the metalfest that is Nox. Overall Ixaxaar gets a four out of five for releasing a very fun and solid death metal album that most fans of the genre should enjoy on some level. It stays true to the old school but is easy enough to digest for fans of modern death metal.