Nexwomb: Militant Heretic Aggression

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Nexwomb: Militant Heretic Aggression
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Nexwomb: Militant Heretic Aggression
Black Metal, Death Metal
Antitheist Dissemination (2012) / Baleful Benediction
March 14, 2011 / 2012
Release length: 10:26
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Nexwomb is a Black/Death Metal group that hails from the darkest corners of Portland, Oregon. This three-piece hides behind initials for their names, feeding into the whole mysterious ideology that the Black Metal style has, as well as uses it for their basic foundation. In 2011, they were picked up by Baleful Benediction to issue their first demo recording, Militant Heretic Aggression, which was picked up roughly a year later for a second pressing through Antitheist Disseminations in a professional cassette format. So, what is it about this recording that has spawned two seperate printings, and does it really deserve this much attention?

Obviously the audio quality here isn’t going to be the most spectacular, but the rawer tones do work in its favor. The echo effects and grittier element of the vocals help to establish more of a haunting, sinister tone to the recording, but that’s about as far as the atmosphere is allowed to venture. The guitars sound rather blunt from the restricted audio format, but still come through clearer, and a little empty during slower momentys. Thankfully, these are limited. They do, however, add a decent heaviness to the material, which sounds great with the deeper bass. The drums sound a bit further in the mix, but yet maintain a rather digital appearance. The cymbals could have been a little louder, causing them to sound a little robotic at times, while the snares are sharp and crisp through a tighter tuning, and the bass kicks carry a nice click, though can be mistaken for a thud during the faster, more chaotic moments of the recording.

While the faster tracks are clearly what stand out the most, it’s the far more aggressive, even venomous rage built into the material that earns your attention. “Militant Heretic Aggression” kicks things off with air strike sirens warning of a coming assault before hammering into blisterng blast beat fueled Black Metal insanity. The echo on the vocals really helps to push a cold and grim tone to the music, and the madness allows the distortion to better mask some of the hollow traits the guitar distortion has. The track is short, and seems to act more as an introduction than a full song, ending way before it really seems like it should, and coming off more like a tease. “Apocryptagion” isn’t quite as adrenaline soaked, but the two minutes and forty eight seconds it exists feels more like a minute. The intensity is still amped up high, which makes this track an entirely different beast all together. The chaotic flow of the material pounds away at the listener, building up quickly and exploding to it’s highest point during the short but sweet guitar solo, while the heavily echoed vocals give a slight sense of neutrality and flow.

“Chaostorms (Summon the Gods of War)” does have some speed behind it, but while it’s a good song, it doesn’t quite feed into the intensity and chaotic sense the other two offer. Unfortunately there is a militaristic march effect utilized, but it does end up hurting the general beat of the song when it’s used towards the start. “Maelstrom of Abyssic Purification,” however, is the first slower song offered. While the start finds a strict blast beat driven sound, the track goes into a bit of a groove foundation with an old-school Black Metal approach that is pretty catchy, will have your head banging along, but also highlighting the faults into the blunt distortion. This shows the slightly cleaner and muffled sound in a bit of a negative light, and while the music is still pretty good, you can’t help but feel it doesn’t have anywhere near the same memorable bite as the rest of the recording.

But, all in all, Militant Heretic Aggression makes for a solid demo recording of Black and Death Metal material, though the focus seems largely on the first of those two styles. The intensity captured on this about ten and a half minute recording is what really works for it, and the slight atmospheres that show throughout really help to make it this something you can definitely come back to. However, nothing quite lives up to the title track and the environment, as well as brutality that it establishes. If you love the underground and what it has to offer the most discriminating of Black Metal palettes, then Nexwomb is definitely a group that will strike your interest. Militant Heretic Aggression mary largely be a blast beat driven assault from start to finish, but there’s a great deal of variety and animosity to leave you crippled and wanting more, regardless of what pressing you happen upon.

01. Militant Heretic Aggression – 1:58
02. Chaostorms (Summon the Gods of War) – 3:10
03. Maelstrom of Abyssic Purification – 2:31
04. Apocryptagion – 2:48
Overall Score: 8/10

Digital review copy of this release provided by Antheist Dissemination.