You can always tell a record shop that really knows, and cares, about their stock when they take the time to write a little blurb describing the musical contents on each record in addition to the price tag. Were I still in the employment of such a venture, and were I to review this here four track belcher from new US death/grind trio Noxis in that short form, rather than here on the deck of the good ship Shaman, I feel like my description would simply read ‘FFO: Demilich & Diarrhea’. No, I don’t mean the obscure Japanese grind band in the latter case, I mean, that for reasons I can’t quite get my head around, at least three of the four song titles here hint at (or in the case of Contorted Bowels Warm straight up scream) problems in the toilet department.
Well if scat obsessed grossness is their thing lyrically, then so be it because to continue their own metaphor, Expanse Of Hellish Black Mire is as satisfying as the kind of monstrous morning dump after a long night on the Guinness, that the title evokes.
As previously noted, the mindlessly nostalgic tendencies of the current American death metal scene are turning the genre into its’ own biggest enemy. Noxis are thankfully in the small handful who take the heydays of the 90s tape trading obscurity and successfully channel them into something that actually feels exciting. Rooted firmly in a very specific form of audio gut wrench, that can be placed between the uber tight pummel of prime Finland, and the low end violence that was splattering out of the gorier ends of the Americas (Central and South), I suspect they know their Abhorrence from their Zombified Preachers of Gore.
there’s a riff at the two minute and two second mark in Contorted Bowels Warm that’s so heavy it might actually cause you to poop…
Guts Liquefy is the standout of four admittedly pretty fantastic tracks here, a marriage of surgical precision and burst of maniac speed which doesn’t, for one second, sacrifice the kind of churning heaviness that you can actually feel in your stomach. The riffing on all four tracks is demented and memorable in equal parts, with the song structures twisted expertly into a surprising digestible form. The production is crystal clear and punchy, and doesn’t strip their sound of density for a second. And with only four songs in fifteen minute, it’s the case when you find yourself wanting to stick it on again straight away after it’s over.
Expanse Of Hellish Black Mire is crushing downtuned grinding death metal of the kind that clearly would have sounded fantastic had it surfaced on Drowned Productions, or some such in 1992. But Noxis don’t for one second feel retro, delivering some of the most sonically disgusting music I’ve heard this year with a real intensity, and panache, that makes it feel absolutely vital.
Plus there’s a riff at the two minute and two second mark in Contorted Bowels Warm that’s so heavy it might actually cause you to poop. So how can you argue with that?
Scribed by: Jamie Grimes