Author: Craig Matthews
Greetings mortals, and welcome to the ritual. Taking us on a trip through the darkness is Greek Black Metal five piece NOX FORMULAE. They have managed to hide into total obscurity quietly honing their craft for ‘The Hidden Paths To Dark Ecstasy’ their debut album.
Without further ado let us begin, and fuck me! Every expectation I had about this band and the album has been totally blown apart. The opening atmospheric track ‘Noxon’ begins the musical ritual with an eerily hypnotic drum beat that just seems to draw you in. ‘The Shadow Smoke’ is fueled by an intense guitar riff and a gritty vocal harmony from the bands three vocalists which shatters your very soul.
It’s obvious now that NOX FORMULAE have really put the work in behind this album. One of the defining qualities of Black Metal is its raw sound and the pursuit of this can really trip some bands up with production quality. NOX FORMULAE have not suffered those same problems, and have managed to produce a powerfully dark sound that chills you right to your bones. Vocally they are astounding, it’s always a risk using multiple vocalists it can lead to the sound getting to complex and the singers drowning each other out, again this is not the case here. As a result of these three there is a huge range of sound, from dark chanting, to demonic guttural screams and all points in between.
The track ‘Nahemoth Death Plane’ is a worthy mention. At just short of nine minutes long it’s a epic Black metal, thanks to the quality of music and the fact that album is produced so well it’s a pleasure to listen to as there are so many elements here. Just on this track the sound ranges from Ghostly synthesisers to thundering guitar riffs but it’s been mixed in such a way that it gives the music a fluid quality. It’s a tough call but I’d have to say that’s my favourite from the album.
This fluid sound carries on through the rest of ‘The Hidden Paths To Dark Ecstasy’ you can hear the bands ingenuity behind the music. There are enough traditional elements for it to sound familiar, but at the same time there is enough ‘bending of the rules’ for it to sound new and fresh. Each track has something just that bit different to bring to the table and keeps you totally hooked and waiting for the next track.
I didn’t know what to expect when I pressed play, this is the band’s debut album and there is so little information about NOX FORMULAE. But any expectations I had have been totally shattered, I’ve listened to ‘The Hidden Paths To Dark Ecstasy’ several times and I’ve always found something new that I like. It’s like being induced to a dark trance that you couldn’t escape even if you wanted to. If you’re looking for high quality Black Metal look no further.
2.The Shadow Smoke
3.Nahemoth Death Plane
4.Voudon Lwa Legba
5.The Dark Brother
6.Yezidic NOX Formula
8.Hidden Clan NXN – Pt 2 and Pt 2
Wolfsbane 1.1: Guitars.
Monkshood 333: Vocals