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Eye of Nix - Ligeia Award winner

Eye of Nix
Ligeia
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 04 July 2020, 4:35 AM

EYE OF NIX is a Progressive Doom/Post-Black metal band from Seattle, Washington.  “Ligeia’ is their third full length album; they also released an EP in 2013.  If their genre description sounds like they might have an unique sound with a lot going on, then you are correct. Most importantly, however, they have the song writing and compositional skills to pull off this elaborate sound.

Mixing all these styles into one cohesive force makes every track its own little adventure.  Joy’s very diverse vocal talents spearhead the band’s sound, giving it force and direction.  As I’m sure you can imagine, mixing doom with post makes “Ligeia,” a very dark and sometimes strange album.  The production helps greatly with this, making the atmosphere somewhat foggy but clearer as the songs open up with each passing second.  I love how the doom part of their sound is ever present but the post-black elements take that presence and stretch it around a progressive underbelly.

Concealing Waters,” begins the journey with sounds that could be produced out of a sleepy, hazy dream.  Luke’s drums are loud and hit their targets with deadly precision, which helps pull the listener through the haze.  Joy’s clean vocals have a unique inflection and she sings against the song’s rhythm as easily as she goes along with it.  Black metal, complete with hyper drumming and riffs, breaks loose shortly thereafter but gives away to clean notes and atmospheric drums that bounces across the notes and vocals with ease, pulling the listener to each different aspect of the song.  The blackened fury returns and this time it brings some hectic extreme vocals with it before the song fades away into much of the same way it began.

Pursued,” almost seems like a totally different band has taken over.  Immediate blackened death growls and furious metal open the track up and just gets more intense as it goes.  The deeper the song gets, the more depraved the vocals become.  The guitar grabs a groove early on and doesn’t let go until after the two minute mark when the bass and drums take over and mix it up with operatic vocals.  By this point, EYE OF NIX and their vision for the album become more clear and it really begins to flow well. “Stranded,” is a song that is divided into two halves, with each one displaying many of the elements of doom and black metal.  The first half is clean guitar and ethereal vocals that glide through the air, wrapping emotional senses around the listener before those senses are destroyed by the songs second half.  The band switches gears for a more lo-fi black metal approach but the bass elevates it into prog territory, showcasing the band’s knack for expanding their sound even if it seems like they are playing it safe.

The title track is very psychedelic and even hypnotic tho the drums keep your mind from wandering too far.  Even when the song goes ultra abrasive, the song never loses that hypnotic feel but uses to showcase some tortured blackened growls/screams.  This is the type of song that you discover more about it with subsequent listens but it never gets old as you keep hitting the repeat button. An acoustic intro and clean keys begin the final track, “Stone & Fury.”  One of the album’s best riffs kicks the song into high gear before the track goes very much into post/ambient territory.  Various sounds sprinkle the background of the higher pitched clean vocals for a foreboding, almost cult like presentation.  Those sweet riffs return in the song’s later half, a thick fuzz laying on top of the death growls that fades out like receding storm clouds.

EYE OF NIX have crafted a highly listenable yet thought provoking album with “Ligeia.”  Their ability to blend in all these styles also shows how similar they can be if done correctly.  With such a clever mixture of variety, I think a lot of different metal fans can find many things to like about this album.  Doom fans definitely need to take note of this but even if you don’t like doom, I can almost guarantee that, even if you don’t like it, you will at least respect it.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Concealing Waters
2. Pursued
3. Tempest
4. Stranded
5. Keres
6. Ligeia
7. Adrift
8. Stone & Fury
Lineup:
Zach Wise – Bass
Luke Laplante – Drums
Nicholas Martinez – Guitars
Masaaki Masao – Samples, Keyboards
Joy Von Spain – Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Prophecy Productions
     


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