Noxagt are back with a vengeance on Brutage, sounding as devastating as always, yet with more of a sludgy sound. This ain’t your father’s Noxagt. They sound more like a metal band than ever before. Imagine if NEU! were into Norwegian metal.
Four tracks (plus a short intro) is all we get on this record. The tracks are roughly 10 minutes long each, leaving for hypnotic grooves, that’s more meditative than aggressive. More subtle melodies (almost mechanical in some parts) hidden within a wall of noise.
Lets break down the tracks.
First is a one-minute untitled fade in introducing the riff from song number two.
On “You Were Followed By A Man From The Station To Your House” we have two main repeating riffs. I prefer the first 5 minutes to the last 5. The first 5 minutes mostly resemble what you would expect from Noxagt. The guitar is more prominent in the mix than earlier. Kjetil Brandsdal’s bass lines are noisier, more distorted and less straight forward in the mix.
With Track 3, “Someone Calls You Every Night But Says Nothing. You Can’t Sleep” there´s an almost industrial metal groove repeats on end, with a part to break the spell towards middle. This is where new(ish) guitarist John Hegre work is at it’s best on this record.
“A Colleague Came To Your House And Punched You. Your Room Became Very Messy” contains a strange bass sound here…sounds like it’s digitally distorted. The guitar feedback is more monotonous here, as the drumming from the always steady Jan Christian Lauritzen and the bass drives this track.
“A Drunken Person Kicked You At The Station And You Had To Go To The Hospital” has no distinctive drums on this one, and more of a dark soundtrack atmospheric track.
Brandsdal seem to be experimenting with his bass sound on this album, not as occupied with melodies and complex rhythms as with hypnotic grooves. This is Noxagt’s first release in quite a few years and it’s a good one; taking the band in a bit of a different direction than on previous records.
We should expect to hear more from Noxagt this year, including a compilation of unreleased material called Collection 1 that compiles tracks from 2001 to 2004. Both are released on Brandsdal’s own Dridmachine Records out of Stavanger.
Noxagt are still a force to be reckoned with. They are the only Norwegian band to have recorded a session for John Peel. That’s saying something.