Roughly 24 hours from now Dark Descent Records will release The Hidden Paths To Black Ecstasy, which is the debut album of the Greek black metal band Nox Formulae. Circle the date in red, preferably in your own blood, just to ensure that no distractions divert you between now and tomorrow. Trust us, this is an album you don’t want to miss. And to make even more sure that your memory doesn’t fail you, we have a full stream of The Hidden Paths for you to hear right now.
NCS contributor Lewis Edwards reviewed the album for us only two days ago. He praised it for the band’s ability “to strike the balance between originality and familiarity”, the strength of their skill in varying the dynamics of each song, the near-perfect approach to production, which achieves “a sense of frosty eeriness which is noteworthy even for black metal’s infamously high standards” while “providing a thick platform for the more crisp sound of the guitars”, summing up the album as an “assured, refined, and generally well-crafted piece of work” that “speaks volumes about the maturity of the band”.
As the band themselves have explained, the album is “a true sonic grimoire (and should be treated as an equal to an actual book of Dark Magic)”, illuminating the shadow beings “who reside in the Death Plane ruled by the Black Dragon”. Spiritual inspiration and investigation is a common feature of much black metal (some of it deep, some of it merely pretense), but much of the music on The Hidden Paths does indeed have a ritualistic, mystical, hypnotic quality, with the kind of dissonant, distorted, serpentine guitar writhing and exotic, otherworldly melodies that summon visions of draconic power from another plane.
Yet the music is also ferocious, erupting into flurries of boiling chaos, accompanied by vocals that are bestial and inflamed with passion (along with solemn chants). Nox Formulae know how to incinerate with sound as well as mesmerize and elucidate. That dynamism is indeed one of the album’s many strengths.
Listen below, with our hope that you enjoy The Hidden Paths To Black Ecstasy as much as we have. And don’t forget to put your blood on the calendar. Tomorrow is a day to remember. Pre-order via the first link below.