Orthodoxy – Novus Lux Dominus (Review)

Orthodoxy - Novus Lux DominusThis is the debut album from Spanish death metallers Orthodoxy.

On their first record Orthodoxy deliver 43 minutes of death metal that’s dark and malevolent. Taking influence from old-school death metal acts, (such as Incantation and Immolation, but without being limited to these), Novus Lux Dominus is a satisfying example of an album that’s both crushingly heavy and atmospherically malignant.

Some of the material here is slow and heavy, and there’s a grim doom element in the music’s DNA that spawns songs that sound as if they’re dripping with cold darkness and raw evil. Other parts of the songs are fast, driven by infernal blast beats and Hellish guitars. Still other parts let loose a chilling dissonance that seems torn from forgotten crypts, while others relish the steamroller groove of gruesome riffs unleashed.

Many of the guitars on this release are bleakly evocative and filled to the brim with negative emotion. Haunting atmosphere is common on this album, and Orthodoxy seem especially good at writing songs that emphasise macabre moods. There’s a black metal influence that can be felt too, despite the band not really playing with an overtly blackened style. It’s more of a subtle spiritual guiding influence, I suppose, rather than one that is worn on their collective sleeves; it infects the guitars and atmosphere with its corrupting presence. Novus Lux Dominus may be rooted in old-school death metal, but its heart seems to beat for the blackness.

The combination of hostility and atmosphere that’s present on Novus Lux Dominus is compelling and engaging. This is atmospheric occult death metal that knows how to maim and kill, but is just at home when worldbuilding with dark, desolate soundscapes.

Very highly recommended.

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