Vera : When we reviewed the previous album ’Nightblood’ from the Dutch formation Nox Aeterna in Autumn 2012, we mentioned a huge leap forwards and improvement on every release. This tendency continues on the new album ‘The Desperation Deal’, again self-released and recorded at their own Studio NightSin. The melodious death metal, inspired by Scandinavian bands of that ilk, is this time even regaled with a proper concept story. That deals with a story about Einarr, his brother Jorund and the demonic Ranaah. In the nicely created CD-booklet you can find more details about the cast of the concept. Yet this album is also a delight when you prefer just a fine portion of inciting melodic death metal only, without diving into the theme.
The fifteen tracks are divided in four chapters. At the beginning of every chapter one can find a shorter, instrumental and calm intermezzo. The rest of the material is, without any exception, heavy and up-tempo, with excellent guitar leads of Debbie Maasdam and the rolling juicy growls of second guitar player Arnold Boukes. The band plays tight and in the accents of the guitar skills we notice slightly Amon Amarth influences, which increases the catchiness of the entire thing. The heavy guitar sound in ‘Blinded By Ruthless Ency’, the hacking and snappy ‘Einarr’s Remembrance’ or ‘Food For The Masses’ with its frisky, charming rhythms and fetching melody… it is a series of strong songs which mostly flow into each other. From the second chapter on, there are eerie spoken parts from time to time to accentuate the storyline, but they are never disturbing the flow. Towards the end it might be a bit too much of the same thing, yet Nox Aeterna managed to write a new repertory that deserves attention. The next steps to more gigs and recognition can be taken now.