(Relapse Records / 2014)
I keep forgetting how many different places a single note of music can visit, be confined in such small places and set free in open fields of ideas and states of mind. I often keep looking inside boxes when people talk to me about clean sheets of paper. I sometimes tend to forget that things are not always as plain and straightforward as they seem. It’s not my really my fault. I blame the outside world and its drowning need to have everything dumbed-down and easy. There’s no other way to explain why one would expect a set of furious and fast punk-crust punches when laying eyes on NUX VOMICA framed description. I forgot there’s much more to modern day crust dwellers than the dirty sounding guitars and drumming of days past, even if this American band has been around long enough to have beaten those paths.
“Nux Vomica”, the album, threatens us with more diverse landscapes than we can muster at first impact. There are those safe holds we’d expect from the crust influence, but the musical pallet which feeds these three songs are way more complex and travel way further than the simple and casual violent assaults of rebellious anthems. There is poetry. There are melodies. There is space. But, of course, there are also the boisterous walls keeping everything together and holding the ground beneath your feet along every minute of these close to epic compositions.
I’m still trying to find the right way to approach this so-called neo-crust (that’s the term I’ve been stumbling upon) where you can have twenty minute songs like ‘Choked at the Roots’, playing with your senses and showing you how post-rock, metal and crust punk can sound good when put together at the right times, with the right transitions and bringing up the images that complement one another, triggering the mind to wander outside the boxes of today and before, but while listening to this album, NUX VOMICA’s third in eleven years as a band, I was left with a renewed confidence on everything I am still bound to find in this endeavor.
[reviewed: Rui Marujo]