NEDXXXNEDXXX (2019)REVIEW

Proclaimed as poison, tool, and a spear through creation’s quivering breast, there is no certain ego attached to this ‘NEDXXX’ experience beyond its clear intention to reeducate the believer — To pull back the burning hand that’d feebly block the obsidian rays gleaming from Lucifer’s unclenched might. NEDXXX is an unknown constant, a suffocation of unseen and unnamed amorphous tides growling aloud its trance-like, ever-stumbling march of fantastic sonic heresies newly unbound from the will of the Unholy and festooned with the mark of a collective spiritual animus; A discordance. The true Satanic philosophy is adrift and far from whole in the mangling hands of the many, stretched and shredded into feathery wings and eye-darkening shadows amongst countless pretenders and surface level sleeve-bearers. In truth, the entire ethos of ‘NEDXXX’ appears to craft and conjure a great collective ward of protection for this φ that’d examine the unthinkable, stare into the unseeable, and pull forth the ghastly ‘unheard of’ by the neck and juice its rotten flesh for black ichor enough to fuel the great oily fire that is this frightening and cryptic Satanic musical art.

A massive and likely long in development thread of abstract artisan black metal extremity glowers as its own collaborative circle of shadowy magi, an unknown but clearly very extensive cast, whirl and conjure their credo within deathly serious standards. ‘NEDXXX’ is an unthinkable chaos ensorcelled between uncountable left hands spanning nations, continents, and perhaps even tighter circles abroad that reveal their identities in art aimed upon the indoctrinated. If your ear is pressed against the associated, the known, and the ‘thought to be imagined‘ Satanic pillars of against-the-grain black metal today these voices, tones and multifarious modus will be familiar. At the very least I recognize most of these vocalists and sonic personalities easily but, making a little game of ‘identify the musician’ would defeat the intended tone of the full piece, which spans just over 30 minutes.

On the other hand I’d happily speculate upon stylistic similarities, for the sake of experiential placement; It is no stretch to consider the auld-garde of End All Life Productions along with their parent monolith (NED is meant to be quite obvious, eh?) leading most roads toward a certain experimental and manic era of Abigor, of all places. The resulting pieces are perhaps more linear in arrangement than the obvious nearby example of more recent collaborative Mystískaos releases (Guðveiki, Andavald, etc.) and yet nearer to a most fiery-raw Blut Aus Nord. The greater vision of the piece may appear to be leading itself in a downward spiral but this sensation comes from the seamless hand-off between artists who are seen through distinct guitar tone, drum production, and imaginative distortions of sound. These works indicate muscle memory trained away from norms into ranting abrasions more often than not and the lyrics are fitting depictions of devotion, dissent, and the holistic madness that comes with the unbalancing of darkness and light. The great apex of this feast of phi comes with a Heraclitian incantation of all things, casting all asunder, leaving me to wonder if it were an act of one madman or the legion of Satanic actors I’d presupposed. At this most auspiciously fatal point all resigns into darkness, uncounted and all the same.

Therein lies the genius of the solitude of the nameless piece, consigned and unknown for any trait beyond its discord — A rending of the coagulant forms that bind us all into identity. It is a true act of Satanism to be individual but, a truly effective act to be unaccounted for the sake of mysterious art. For all of the grubby reaching hands of modern augurs desperate to belong, their mouths gnawing at meaning without teeth to spare, ‘NEDXXX’ cannot help but be a personal and perhaps unknowable piece of dissent. Personal being the key word, though, as this isn’t an entirely inhuman act due to many glory-bound personalities that still shine like soul-bound jewels atop an entombed king’s corpse within the full listen of this NEDXXX event. It feels on the verge of a great work were it slightly more cohesive though I understand that and implication of ‘unity’ is absurd in this particular context.

Where I gain some personal frustration with the listening experience comes by way of the sampled sermons and mockery that adorns some transitional pieces with spoken illumination of the unholy cult. I’d rather never hear a sampled speech in music as it is a too commonly used relic of ‘bedroom’ extreme metal and today’s cinematic post-rock; To be fair this works within the layered and heavily thematic spirit of the album but it does not raise the value of the otherwise experimental-but-meditative tonal rip of ‘NEDXXX’, at least for my own tastes. This does not mar the recommendation of it as NEDXXX offer a beautiful document of the great elevation of black metal in the present where defiant art has not yet been maligned out of existence. A moderately high recommendation and I hesitate slightly because it is an abstract piece that does not for a second ‘beg’ to be listened to. Those compelled will be undoubtedly drawn by the heavy spirituality inherent to each piece and no doubt the space-rock blown black metallic random violence that drives the affair will be too much for all but the most deranged.

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Artist NEDXXX
Type Album
Released December 13, 2019
BUY & LISTEN on Norma Evangelium Diaboli’s Bandcamp! Norma Evangelium Diaboli Website
Genre Avant-Garde Black Metal,
Progressive Satanic Dominion

Moderately high recommendation. 3.75/5.0

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