|Review: Nox Aurea - Ascending in Triumph|
|Ascending in Triumph|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2010
Review online: July 10, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
for:Ascending in Triumph
Tiresome and depressing, Nox Aurea specialize in eight minute songs that feel as if they're twenty minutes: stretched out, extra slow riffing over gloomy rough and occasionally gothic vocals. Albums like Ascending in Triumph are the stereotype by which close-minded metal fans pass off Doom as "boring music." It sounds as if the band are caught within their genre, creating meandering gothic doom because they want to make gothic doom. The purity of inspiration is absent, and in its place is a mechanical replica. The result is mediocrity.
These songs really just move on and on, with little structure. The slow-tempo riffs linger and then transition to another slow tempo riff that also lingers for a while. Usually, there are some harsh vocals or some ethereal female vocals. I guess this is supposed to sound haunting, soothing, or depressing. Occasionally, it is quite depressing, but that's about all it has going for it. There are times though, when the band pulls forth with a fast passage, like in "The Loss and Endeavour of Divinity," that they really shine. These bright spots end quickly though, and are then overtaken by the same old slow, directionless lethargy. Each time I've listened to this, it's felt like a marathon: four songs in, I'm overwhelmed by the staggering, boring task of sitting through four more songs, totaling almost half an hour. Music without soul is always boring, but when Gothic Doom is without its soul, it can become a painstaking and grueling listen.
Doom metal is one of the strongest and most diverse genres in metal. Nox Aurea find themselves hampered by their genre. Instead of inspiration, they are stuck in replication, and as a result drone on in their own self-inflicted inertia.
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