Noxagt

Turning It Down Since 2001

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Lightning Bolt's 2003 release, Wonderful Rainbow, might be more varied, sonically and emotionally, in its driving repetition, but Noxagt (a group significantly influenced by the noise assaults of duos like Lightning Bolt) adds a viola to the bass and drums doomsaying on its debut. It makes for a sound that is as dark and monolithic as it is heavy. On Turning It Down Since 2001, Nils Erga's viola playing is hardly traditional -- but the experimentalist manages to coax all sorts of scraping, distorted noises out of the instrument. "Mek It Burn" evokes everything from Sabbath to Slayer with a dingy, evil march, and the bass on "Gravy and Blood" groans from the deepest depths of hell while the viola takes the lead melody -- if you can call it that. "Swarm," one of the album's best tracks, has the spiraling intensity of a Sonic Youth feedback jam and even layers in some indiscernible hardcore vocals. Turning It Down Since 2001 won't sound particularly kind to unassuming listeners, but it is a fine entry into the canon that crosses metal, hardcore, and experimental noise.

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