I’m writing this review as I sit in the back of the van, driving through the gloomy mountains of Oregon. With fog glazing the forrest walls around me, the dim moonlight is the only thing illuminating the roads in front of us. Nux Vomica’s brand new self-titled LP is the soundtrack on this eery trek to Portland, Oregon, which also doubles as the band’s hometown.
Portland, Oregon has been the home for many crushing d-beat bands, such as Hellshock and Tragedy, with Nux Vomica being an important contributor to the Portland scene as well. This self-titled release has a different vibe than your typical d-beat record. There are elements of noise and grind that are almost unbearable to listen to at times, but will suck you in and force you to keep listening. There’s something about this record that makes you feel uncomfortable. At times it feels like you’re thrown into a black hole, and have no real concept of when it’s going to end, or how it’s going to end for that matter.
The record starts off with “Sanity is for the Passive”. A 13 minute pulverizing start to the record. “The sky is turning brown, and the trees are shriveling up” screams the lead singer… as a foreshadowing outcry for the destruction this album brings. Strangely enough, as the fog began to clear, the second song on the record, titled “Reeling,” kicks in, which is a complete 180 from the opening track. It’s an ease-less transition from the crushing opening track to the peaceful middle track. The record ends with “Choked At The Roots,” which is a 19 minute long marathon through all of the elements that Nux Vomica had brushed on earlier in the record. There is a constant flow of dark and d-beat riffs, but will continue to add atmospheric melodies and ambient dynamics through the epic album ender.
This is an extremely refreshing d-beat record, as it touches on a lot of elements bands like Neurosis only dared to mix in with this normally aggressive style.
Released via Relapse Records