Turning It Down Since 2001!

It starts almost like a headache. A distorted bass dirge runs and pulsates as it dominates the stereo like that pain in your head that accompanies a vicious hangover. Once you succumb to the repetition, it becomes apparent that this dirge won't change or go away. It only intensifies, linking with distorted viola and resonant drums. Together they further create an aural palette that slowly grates and nauseates what's left of your senses.

This is Noxagt.

Hailing from Norway, this cold and relentless instrumental trio treads on and expands on everything we know about music without vocals. It would be laziness to simply write Noxagt off as a stoner rock band -- it doesn't even have a guitarist. That said, comparisons to the head-bobbing hypnosis of Black Sabbath are unavoidable. The sound this trio creates brings to mind a doomier yet gloomier Dirty Three, touched by the hands of Billy Anderson, the man responsible for classic stoner rock albums by Sleep and the Melvins.

On 2001, every instrument is equally important for every moment of every song. As they weave in and out, they complement each other. The distorted viola repeats and creates intense and slightly melodious rhythms like those of a contemporary classical piece, while the heavy drums and hulking bass bleat along. The result is a startling motif that feels almost evasive at times, yet still leads you to some unforgettable place. From what Noxagt is trying to escape I do not know, but if it's mediocrity and the fear of being forgotten, this band has nothing to worry about. The all-encompassing mesmeric feel is enough to keep the masses in a pickle, begging for more and/or mercy.


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