The fans who at the first time have gotten acquainted with Noxa through 2006's sophomore Grind Viruses
perhaps have overlooked the band's other releases, included 2002's self-titled album, Noxa
. True, Grind Viruses
is pretty sophisticated, and till nowadays the record is still considered Noxa's best release. But, such an appraisal really does not mean to 'prevent' the fans and any other grind enthusiast getting this debut release - no, obviously not! Instead, those who have been apt to the sophomore one strongly recommended to give Noxa
a listen. Whenever they dig both albums carefully, sooner or later they will realize how interrelated Noxa
and Grind Viruses
are. Though the second one has more tracks (31 songs with 34 minutes of music) and more polished in production quality, however the debut definitely can not be denied because it has all requisites to compete with Grind Viruses
- particularly in the side of musical quality. Right, it's fine to say Noxa
one step behind Grind Viruses
, but it is just in the side of production quality and whether each instrument is balance and linear or not, obviously not about music quality itself. And what is more, looking at the aspect of aggressiveness, speed, flavor, catchiness, and grindy atmosphere this record will never be subordinated to the sophomore one.
sounds firmly grindy in its first three songs. Track "Sh
itty People", "Mr. Rie-Use", and "Even, Level, Equal" are typical straight-forward grind songs, and without any platitude intro the grindy atmosphere strike listeners' eardrums with the utmost intense of speed and aggressiveness. What a good beginning! However, listening to any follow-on track, especially ranging from "Almighty" to track number eight, "Blind Faith", perhaps casual listeners begin to tire and bore. Such a condition happens due to songs' similarity of general flavor and characteristic. Just pick up track "Even, Level, Equal" and "Close Minded" for instance; listening to both songs cursorily, "Even, Level, Equal" would be "Close Minded"-like and vice versa. But whenever the listeners begin to try understanding finer nuance between the two, most certainly the elements such as vocal alternation, song tempo, and drum fills will assure them that the songs are different in structure or composition. Okay, that’s about the first-half album, meanwhile, the then follow-on tracks (right after "Blind Faith") are deemed to be catchiest tracks - particularly "Wake Up & Stand Up", "Pretty Face & Rotten Soul", and "The Last Day" whose a lot of fast-paced and thrashy moments. Anyway, after a 'breaking news'-like track "Ajeng" where bassist Dipa Biomantara manages to do spoken word in his native Balinese language, the rest ones revert to style/atmosphere of the first three songs, except "Menanti Ajal" of course - this mid-tempo song is the weakest!
To say this debut record special due to Noxa’s vigorous performance must be a fair statement. Technically, their music composition is not so that complex and unique, but the album itself is more than enough to be cited as another good 2002’s grind release predicate. Vocally, Tonny Christian Pangemanan alternates between heavy vocalizing (more dominant) and middle to high-pitched scream. His vocal ability actually is not so special - just average - but watch out, it is still dangerous and too harsh for any kindergarten kid! Furthermore, guitarist Ade Himernio Adnis' performance also contributes a lot in making the album become good - no any complaint in relation to his technique credibility. Even though bass is somewhat buried sometimes, in partly to the album it is also pretty audible and well-mixed. And the end of story, what makes Noxa
able to stand out vis-a-vis at other grind releases must be the performance of drummer Robin Oxen Hutagaol. His drumming work possibly is album's highlight. Robin seemed enthusiastically to shed all of his technical drumming capabilities, spirit and energy, and or even his anger feeling so as to make an awesome debut record - yes, elegantly he succeeded!
is solid debut release. And those who have given applause upon the sophomore Grind Viruses
, this 20-minute stuff won't fail them.