Album Reviews : Nazxul – Iconoclast
The haunting string intro sets the scene perfectly for yet another classic release from Sydney’s feudalistic overlords Nazxul. After gaining underground popularity in the mid ‘90s for their debut full length Totem, Nazxul’s recording days since have been highly sporadic. But as always the music endures, with many metal fans stumbling across this masterful black metal during these inactive periods. And it was the 2005 re-release of the Black Seed EP which introduced me into this amazing band and their bombastic and epic material.
Atmosphere is always the hallmark of quality black metal music, and throughout their latest release titled Iconoclast, the band have further developed their already majestic sound. Dragon Dispituos’ frantic introduction leaves no prisoners, with its heavy guitars and impressionist keyboard layers taking you in from the start. Black Wings makes use of small, drawn out melodies lending a majestic fast paced procession to the song.
However it is when we turn the record over for the second half of the album that we truly know where the class of Nazxul stands. With the speed dropping off somewhat, epic melodies stand in its place and with it, the amazing atmosphere of Nazxul’s music endures. Oath (Fides Resurrection) provides the highlight of the album, and is reminiscent of the brilliant Vow of Vengeance from the band’s Black Seed, released in 1998. Stain of Harrow and World Oblivion are also worthy mention in their nihilistic grace.
Killed in a motorcycle accident late in 2008, Iconoclast represents some of the final recordings from guitarist Greg Morelli, and with it he has left surely a lasting legacy. For if Nazxul can pull off a better album than Iconoclast, then we will likely hear the Black Metal album of a generation.
Within Nazxul lives Black Metal. Nazxul are Iconoclasts. 9/10
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Moribund Records/Eisenwald
Australian Distribution: Obsidian Records
Origin: Sydney, Australia
2. Dragon Dispitous
4. Black Wings
8. Set in Array
10. Symbol of Night & Winter (Ancient Lords)
11. Oath (Fides Resurrection) (Reviewers Choice)
12. Stain of Harrow
13. World Oblivion