Cleveland-based Noxis have only been active since 2019 but they have wasted no time in proving their fiendish talents. Setting their sites on a particular kind of death metal, they released the aptly named Necrotizing demo in the year of their birth and are now following that with the new four-track EP we’re premiering today, also aptly named: Expanse of Hellish Black Mire. Those fiendish talents quickly hooked the attention of both Pulverised Records and Rotted Life Records, who will jointly handle the release on October 30.
In formulating their approach, Noxis owe some debts to the great NYDM triumvirate of Incantation, Suffocation, and Immolation, as well as Finnish bands such as Demigod and Convulse, and they’ve paid those debts by creating music that’s thuggish in its bone-fracturing, organ-rupturing belligerence and disgustingly gruesome in its atmosphere, and yet also mind-boggling in its mad contortions and technical extravagances. Their music is thus thoroughly putrid and punishing but also a big adrenaline kick.
Similar to the band’s name, the EP’s opening song “Dream Infested” (which was first released as a single during August) is a noxious slab of death metal, but it’s more than simply a deep plunge into foul and disgusting muck. For one thing, there’s a spooky piano piece at the outset, and in that opening you’ll also get a hint of the heaviness in the slow, rumbling bass tone. When the song kicks into gear, that heaviness becomes a titanic, bone-smashing experience, in which the thunder of the bass joins forces with the maniacal clatter of the snare drum.
The riffing is definitely putrid and macabre and the abyssal growls are ghastly, but the band constantly shift gears, the drumming is completely off-the-hook, and the song plays with your mind as much as it attempts to beat you senseless and leave your eviscerated guts splattered all over the walls. The darting and writhing fretwork, both guitar and bass, maneuver in freakish flurries while also feeding your viscera through a grinding meat processor.
The next three songs are much shorter than the opener, but no less barbaric and bamboozling. “Contorted Bowels Warm” drives fast and frenetically, but also unpredictably. The drum patterns and riffing again change constantly as the band blend together bouts of mutilating savagery with intricate instrumental acrobatics. In the middle, things become less crazed. The song morphs into a slow, heaving and groaning beast with the stench of rot oozing from every pore. That slow, morbid crawl is laced with bursts of berserker mania, all hands flying with impressive speed and dexterity.
“Incubated Disgust” perpetuates the EP’s bewildering patterns, juxtaposing jackhammering brutishness with the buzzing and whirring sounds of giant hornets that have lost their tiny minds. The gruesome roars continue to rise up from cavernous depths as the band continue to manipulate their speed, pushing and pulling the throttle with abandon, abundantly indulging their feverish athelticism while also throwing in a dose of unsettling electronics at the end.
And to close, Noxis throw themselves immediately into a paroxysm of storming rhythm-section work and diseased riffing that twists and turns, slithers and jolts. It’s one final trip through the Noxis maelstrom, one last chance to have your eyes popped wide by the unbridled speed of the drumming, your spine caved in by pile-driving grooves, and your brain flipped into somersaults by the madness of the musical careening and cavorting.
Pulverised will be releasing Expanse Of Hellish Black Mire in a jewel-case CD edition as well as 12″ white, black, and gold vinyl formats, while Rotted Life will handle the 10″ vinyl EP and cassette tape versions for North America. And of course, digital downloads are available from both labels. Pre-orders are available now:
PULVERISED version: http://pulverised.bandcamp.com/album/expanse-of-hellish-black-mire
ROTTED LIFE version: http://rottedlife.bandcamp.com/album/expanse-of-hellish-black-mire