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Ordoxe – Nihil - 70%

Asag_Asakku, April 19th, 2013

During Easter season, it is natural to discuss resurrection, a phenomenon that applies perfectly to the Quebec group Ordoxe. After a long gestation and two albums released in 2006 and 2007, the group became silent due to the success of its “brother band” Slaotvean. After the dissolution of the latter in 2011, a miracle occurs and Ordoxe came back to life, launching a third album called Nihil.

Ordoxe’s members ensure to provide a lasting first impression to their listeners with a narrative introduction pronounced in an incomprehensible language, really aggressive for an ear accustomed to Latin idioms' sweetness. Fortunately, music that follows is much less daunting. Presumably inspired by black metal classics, band provides compositions built around an excellent and varied guitar playing. Melodic arpeggios are constantly intersect with harsher passages, reminiscent of the Norwegian scene, particularly that of Bergen, and – closer to home – a band like Sorcier des Glaces. Certain moods created by the guitar provide some beautiful moments of greatness and despair, without excess. It is worth to note that Ordoxe uses French language for some of its lyrics, a move that should allow them to get even closer to their natural audience.

However, one aspect of the album forbids me to give him a better grade. While controlled, drumming is linear and repetitive, reducing songs’ dynamics (a constant for every Norwegian Black Metal-inspired band). In addition, drum mixing gives it a little too much space and puts forward an extremely dry and irritating snare sound that produces long « tac-tac-tac » sequences. I’m probably too harsh, but these kinds of details bother me a lot.

Notwithstanding my personal opinion about drumming, Nihil remains a very good album. Group members effectively spread their know-how and real style mastery. Result is pleasant to listen to anyone who claims to enjoy classic black metal forms and should allow Ordoxe to collect new fans, both in Quebec and abroad.

Originally written for Métal Obscur.