Nyx‘Home’ is the debut full-length album from NYX.

No, not the death metal band from Italy…Nope, not that other band from Turin…

Certainly not the thrash band from London, and definitely not the French electro-pop band!

The NYX in question here are two ladies from Baden in Germany, and they play scathing black metal.

They have a cool-as-fuck logo, and they have a website (remember them?) instead of a Facebook page. (Respect).

They have also just released an excellent record.

Of course the debate will always rage on, about whether the mention of gender is truly important in a review of a band and their music (female-fronted etc.), but certainly within extreme metal, female presence is always going to offer an interesting dynamic and take the music somewhere else.

Indeed here, drummer Blitz and vocalist/guitarist/bassist Vinterbarn have imbued ‘Home’ with moments of ethereal splendour amongst the garagey riffs and all-out savagery. Making true on their promise, that their debut album will be a restless mix of wrath, despair and yearning.

From the full-on black metal assault of opening track ‘Beyond’, to the pagan folk balladry of ‘Swallowed Screaming’, ‘Home’ is impressively captivating throughout its 45 minutes.

The moods and tempos may switch constantly but the effect is skilfully controlled and never clumsy. So each battering of savage vocals and frosty riffing is equally matched by lilting clean vocals and haunting restraint.

There’s a certain Gorgoroth style crunch to some of the tracks, and hell, ‘Black Isle’ and the frantic ‘Metastases’ are even incredibly catchy. But don’t worry, this takes nothing away from the primitive fury of the death-like chugging and the harsh rasping. Even the bleak and atmospheric incantation of ‘Prelude’ holds the attention, with its repeated chant, drone vocal and clanging outro, proving both mesmerising and disturbing.

Then it’s off, into more impassioned riffing.

‘Home’ is light years away from the rather one-dimensional sound of their demo ‘Satis’, and is highly recommended as a refreshing alternative to your standard black metal fare.

(8.5/10 Stuart Carroll)