If you are not familiar with Naxen, they are a fairly newly formed black metal band from Germany and, one thing is for certain, when you hear this, their first full length record, you will not be forgetting them in a hurry.
From the sorrowful hanging guitar intro to the culmination of nearly 50 minutes of extraordinarily fine offerings of the most extreme kind, ‘Towards The Tomb Of Times’ stands out very clearly as a quite exceptional record. Composed of only four lengthy tracks, this band have a dynamic similar to Mgla but also weave in the hints of hardcore (especially vocally) that has become the trademark of current successes like Harakiri For The Sky.
For me, one of the most strident attributes of this album is the ability to use a classically black metal lo-fi guitar buzz yet develop it into humongous slabs of astonishingly heavy riffage – none more apparent than on the second track ‘The Odious Ordeal’.
To maintain the emotional swing of desolation and hope throughout a record is far from a straightforward thing to do. Yet Naxen don’t simply manage it, they make all the noises that they’ve just walked it. This is desolation in musical format and, where others try, this record feels like it is built on some very real experience and some very tough times.
I love it when an album just smacks you between the eyes straightaway. This record does exactly that and is, I would suggest, one of the very finest offerings to have bludgeoned its way into existence in 2020. Go find it.