Saturday 22 November 2014

NIXA - Trembling Path (Album Review)

Trembling Path cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 18th November 2014
Label: Self Released

NIXA – Trembling Path– Track Listing

1.Die With The Sun 08:21
2.Erase 06:08
3.Dies Irae 05:36
4.The Gate 04:02
5.Thurisaz 06:38
6.Eye Eating God 05:37
7.Seven Principles 06:14


Valentin Mellstrom-vocals
Anthony Mendolia-guitar
Mike Rodriguez-drums


I have to thank Hand of Doom Radio for bringing this album to my attention, as I did not know it was even out. I remembered Nixa from their excellent debut release, which I featured last year so I headed over to BandCamp, and bought this right away. Nixa's debut album -Trembling Path - is a powerful, dark and brooding take on all things Doom, Sludge and Psychedelic Metal. It is a very atmospheric album with Nixa offering an emotionally and haunting journey for who dares to listen. Opening track - Die With The Sun - lays down the foundations for NIXA to build their album upon. Stirring doom-laiden atmospherics with great vocals to match. Shades of Isis, Neurosis and YOB appear at regular intervals but Nixa manage to create their own intriguing world amongst the darkness going on around you. The instrumental work instantly draws you in as you are held prisoner by the power of the riffs themselves. It sounds incredible from the very start, which is not surprising since Magnus Lindberg of Cult Of Luna fame mastered the album.

Nixa have written some complex melodies amongst the ambient noises and vocals. The album has shades of dark creepy Stoner Metal appearing from time to time but its heavier Sludge/Doom Metal aspects that keep you interested through out. The first song gives a good indication on how the rest of the album plays out but Nixa do add a few surprises along the way. Its one heavy hypnotic journey where heavy slabs of psychedelia adding an unsettling feel.

Second track - Erase - opens with an eerie slow-paced guitar riffs with different noises being added before the vocals start venturing form Clean to more hardcore-based vocals. Erase is a slow-paced affair with the Doom Metal vibe laid on very thick. The drumming are played at a slower pace but what they lack in speed, they more than make up in the sheer size of volume. Of Course things explode into a loud wall of noise. A great Sludge/Doom Metal band needs to show people how angry they are at the world and Nixa are no exception. The vocals take a strange hypnotic chant based turn towards the end but it shows how creative Nixa actually are when the time calls for it. 3rd track - Des Irae - sees Nixa add layers of Fuzz and creepy soundbytes being for one of the albums strongest tracks. It should not work but Nixa pull this off with style and conviction. If you are not digging this album by now then it is best to turn away as Nixa only offer more high-calibre bone-crunching riffs to lose yourself in.

The whole album is immersed with the creepier side of life and metal in general. It's packed full of twists and turns which will keep you on edge especially on 4th track - The Gate - that ventures into Ambient/Drone territory with the vocals being wisely kept to a minimum in the background as the band create a delicate balance between light and dark moods to give the album a more experimental feel. However, it is back to normal Sludge/Doom Metal business with 5th track - Thurisaz. This is where Nixa unleash all their anger and fury upon the listener and it makes for one of the albums standout tracks. Nixa unleash the psych metal fury from their instruments with guitar reverb and fuzz being played at a loud and destructive level. The lyrics are dark and creepy which only adds to the doom and gloom effect of the album though wait until the epic riffs appear towards the end of the song.

Nixa have two more songs for you to experience or survive from. Eye Eating God feels like a claustrophobic nightmare coming to life. You will feel the entire world is closing upon top of you. It starts very slowly with Nixa adding different hints of ambient noises before the doom and gloom effect once again slowly takes off with delicate riffs driving this superb instrumental track to its natural conclusion. Nixa close the album off with the disturbing and majestic - Seven Principles - that carries the same winning formula/setup from the earlier tracks but it somehow still sounds fresh, exciting and most of all wholly original. It sees Nixa unleashing a barrage of unstoppable riffs and moods for you to survive from. Nixa have created a disturbing and brutal debut album that will speak volumes to many of you within the Doom/Sludge Metal community. This is a must-have album. Awesome. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe

Trembling Path is now available to buy from BandCamp now.

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