Friday, November 12, 2010

NOX AUREA – Ascending in Triumph CD review

NOX AUREA – Ascending in Triumph CD
Napalm Records

This might be their second full length but it’s a “triumph” in the realm of melodic Death/Doom. NOX AUREA hit all the right buttons as far as having compositions containing powerful riff tempos, cascading keyboards, a gruff lead vocalist who sounds like a forest beast and drum treatments which make the earth rumble. Although just having all the right ingredients to fulfill the recipe requirements are only part of it. What this Swedish band adds as accents is where they turn delicious and fully enjoyable. Aside from the intense male vocals there’s female vocals employed which act as splashes of gothic atmosphere. The eight tracks on here are not typically slow and will carry the listener along at a pace which I think is actually upbeat for this genre on a few cuts.

NOX AUREA describes themselves as Gothic Doom and the opening title track would suggest that but it’s the only example on here. Once you get passed the first track then things go into a different direction. “The Loss and Endeavour of Divinity” is one of the many examples where elements of Death and Doom rise and fall with the haunting keyboards presenting this atmosphere which is beautifully epic. One of the shorter cuts, “The Delight of Autumn Passion” creates this feeling of soaring like an eagle (choose whatever flying creature you want) over a forest after the trees have gone into their Fall color display. Since that’s what is going on in my little o’l neck of the woods the music just added to my love for this season. “Mother Aletheia Chapter II” is another number which ends up lifting one’s consciousness. The before mentioned female vocals almost float in on a breeze. There’s plenty of emphasis on the Death side of things as well.

The closer “Emendare” returns to the haunting doom which we began with but it shouldn’t end there since you’re likely to replay this again in one sitting. Most people know my biggest criticism about “gothic metal” is that all the female vocalists are prom dress wearing operatic sirens. When I read up about this band’s debut all I saw were references to “gothic”. While listening to Ascending in Triumph I was waiting patiently for the “diva effect” and thankfully it never appeared. What did appear were Black Metal elements which were a complete surprise but overall this was very melancholic. The riffs are sustained and heavy which simply keeps you on the edge of your seat. This was definitely a big surprise of a release.




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