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For Nox Formulae black metal’s famously raw production is a feature, not a bug. “Yezidic Nox Formula” from their upcoming album The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy is a case study of how a lack of sonic clarity can heighten a song’s impact even while smudging over the fine details. The track is by no means an amatuer production job, anyone atunated to the style should have no problem picking out the song’s bassline or the way that it cycles through riffs, but there’s just enough goop on the edges of each instrument to make your ears work for it.

That extra degree of effort puts the listener at a disadvantage, leaving them vulnerable to attack. Nox Formulae pounce on that vulnerability. “Yezidic Nox Formula” is filled with sounds that come from somewhere or something just outside of comprehension. Of course on a rational level it is clear that the ominous screeching and droning during the bridge is probably coming from a keyboard or synthesizer, but because of the murky production, for a split second it could just as feasibly be a ghost in the machine. In that split second, Nox Formulae’s satanic rhetoric lives and breathes as more than just empty bluster. That leeway is all they need to plant the seed of doubt in your mind, and doubt bears hideous fruit.

Stream the track below. You can preorder The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy, out on 9/16/16 via Dark Descent Records, here.

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—Ian Cory