Vera : Northern lights are a natural phenomenon that invoked awe and fascination among the paltry creatures living on this planet since the beginning of time. Nox Aeterna was also inspired by this coloured beauty at the nightly skies for their fifth studio album and they describe ‘Aurora Borealis’ as an exciting journey through a cold and treacherous landscape towards the northern lights.
The Dutch band has a stable line-up since ages and plays melodic death metal. Vocalist/guitarist Arnold Boukes and his four co-musicians always release their albums independently, but they are all of high quality. The successor of ’The Desperation Deal’ (2015) happens to be a concept album. It was released in April and contains ten songs with an average length around four minutes, once again inspired by Scandinavian music styles. This album brims with energy. After a news item on the radio, ‘Chasing The North’ bursts out with firm riffs and raucous grunts. The ornamental guitar accents are always catchy and inciting, also in the fast and fetching ‘A Harsh Journey’. Still the music is akin to the melodic death metal of Amon Amarth, however, without being a copy of it. This is just very agreeable heavy yet melodic stuff, played with fervency, regaled with accelerations and breaks, but constantly vigorous and accessible. Synths and keyboards add a soaring background now and then. The only song which slackens down pace is ‘Destitute Salvation’. It begins and ends with classical piano and evolves to a sure-fire, compelling slower composition with any doom-like tendencies creating a proper tension. Next they swallow the bait again with ‘Old Man’s Tale’, while ‘The Northern Saga’ includes some eerie distorted vocals. When another (frightening) news item resounds as occlusion, we have got to know a very fine album of Nox Aeterna and we can look back with pleasure on this musical pole expedition.