Thursday, September 24, 2009
Moribund Cult II: Naxzul "Iconoclast"
Australia’s semi-legendary Naxzul return after a long absence with “Iconoclast”, the band’s second full-length, and first since 1995. That’s not to say that Naxzul’s musicians have been idle during this long period, not at all, as members have drifted in and out of various Australian black metal acts over the years.
Kudos to Moribund Cult Records for signing Naxzul to their expanding roster as Naxzul are one of the first Australian black metal acts to burst upon the scene. In addition, the long promised “Iconoclast” was apparently recorded some time ago and is only now seeing the light of day (or night, as the case may be), so genre fans are going to be especially interested in this release.
Was it worth the wait? Yes, as Nazxul’s version of symphonic black metal contains all of the necessary elements for success. Well written, catchy songs with a deep production and stellar musicianship will cause critics such as myself to draw comparisons, favorably so, between “Iconoclast” and the gems of bands such as Emperor, mid-period Dimmu Borgir, and “Nemesis Divina”- era Satyricon in their heyday. The music on “Iconoclast” runs the gamut of black metal, with fast, brutal songs light on melody, a couple of short tracks with ambience and effects, and a few very melodic moments evocative of Dimmu Borgir, a natural comparison. For the most part, the music works at integrating these different genre elements together, but my personal preference is for the faster songs with their infectious riffing. The end result is a solid album of symphonic black metal that should reinvigorate interest in the band.
“Iconoclast” is a good album, but I can’t help but wonder if the album is five years, or more, out of date at this point, as interest in symphonic black metal has considerably waned. Who knows, though, maybe symphonic black metal will soon jump on the retro bandwagon as just about every other older, appreciated genre seems to have been doing these days. If so, Nazxul will probably be at the forefront of a nascent movement. Recommended.
Naxzul Official MySpace