Eye of Nix - Black Somnia
Skry Recordings
Dark Avantgarde
6 songs (41' 18")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Andy

Hailing from Seattle, Eye of Nix recently finished recording their latest album. Black Somnia provides the listener with a gritty mix of black metal, crust, doom, and sludge, all stirred into a murky goo. Last week I reviewed a band that celebrates cheesy Halloween movies whose viewers laugh at and cheer for the monster between mouthfuls of popcorn. Black Somnia is a horror movie soundtrack too -- the soundtrack of a movie where the viewers leave the theater confused and shivering.

The darkness of Eye of Nix's sound is primarily the product of its jangling lo-fi guitars and Joy Von Spain's vocals, a gloomy, operatic wail punctuated by mad shrieks. Drummer Justin Straw appears to be miked under thick cloth, with a blunt, soft sound to even the hardest hits on the snare, while the organ synths on Wound and Scar complete the horror movie atmosphere. The next two tracks have a hopeless tinge to the vocals, the last one growing steadily to a crescendo as the picking and jerking of the guitars grow ever more chaotic, until Von Spain throws melodic discipline to the wind, in favor of snarling screams.

The latter part of the record quiets down a bit at the beginning of the tracks, though the tempo and the noise level inevitably pick back up before long. Toll On's melodic strength makes it one of my favorites on the album, but Lull is pretty good as well, for similar reasons. A Hideous Visage completes the album by returning to the abrasive sound of earlier, with hammering blastbeats miked down below the frequency of a single, repeating guitar riff.

Traditional metal listeners might want to give this a pass, but for those willing to jump into the adventurous world of dark, noisy rock/punk/metal hybrids, this might be an interesting one to check out.

Bandcamp: https://eyeofnix.bandcamp.com/album/black-somnia.

Killing Songs :
Lull, Toll On
Andy quoted 76 / 100
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