Swedish outfit Nox Vorago have release their second album, 5 years after releasing their début, 11 years after forming in Gothenburg. Their style of symphonic death metal taken care of by founding members Magnus Andersson and Uduun, keyboards and vocals respectively, as all orchestral elements are no doubt keyboard derived while the guttural roars may have the odd black metal shriek and rasp but are predominately death growls. Guitarists Tommy Mattsson and Anders Lundvall deliver some crushing riffs littered with melodic breaks and intricate mood changes to accompany Robert Isojärvi’s precise tempo changes on the drums. Bass on the album is taken care of by former live guitarist Robert Persson now in Crooked Horns.
The first of the seven tracks is “Elenu Tiamatu” which opens with a great build-up of drums over brass and strings until the vocals and guitars drown them out with their envenomed attack. There are brief respites during the song where everything slows down to harmonious guitar and keyboard melodies over the sharp snappy drumming.
“Nuremberg 1561” starts with a heavy buzz on the guitars, which vanishes as soon as the vocals and grandiose keyboards come in, punctuated by plenty of brass instruments. The piano and keyboard accompanying the blasting drums really work well together for a heavy dramatic feel accentuated by the rasping vocals towards the end.
While the drums have a far more tempered feel about them on “Devourer of Dreams”, the guitars and keyboards range from slightly slower to exceedingly faster to match Isojärvi’s footwork.
“The Hissing Sound of Ouroboros” has a definite Samael vibe to it, more Saturnine than Jupiterian to be fair, but it is definitely there in the way it speeds up and slows down while keeping the vocals heavy and steady.
On “Daughters of the Sun”, the ominous sounding woodwinds break the full sound of an orchestra growled over by Uduun with guitars for company before everything kicks back into gear for the remainder of the song.
Taking on a far more sinister black metal feel, “The Lotus Scimitar” is full of triplets on both the guitar and drums as it ebbs and flows from breakneck speed to a near standstill then back again.
The final track “At the Feet of Ereshkigal” was also released as a single earlier this year and possibly contains the most diverse range of elements of any song on the album, from speed and tempo changes to melodies and vocal harmonies portraying everything the album is about in just under 7 minutes.
There are certainly some very angry pieces on the album, but they are all blended in very well with the more complex arrangements giving it a great feel and making it rather enjoyable.
(7/10 Marco Gaminara)