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Nixa : Opus Tierra

Familiar-sounding, but with a 50/50 chance of that being a plus or minus point: Nixa's latest release is nonetheless a ballsy addition to the Doom canon.

Utterly unconvinced as I am by anything Pallbearer have done since 'Foundations...', first impressions here of Nixa's 'Opus Tierra' went something along the lines of "this is more like it". Opening the album with a vast sound of atmospheric passion, huge-sounding guitars, pounding drums and soaring vocals they blast most of anything that might call itself 'competition' firmly out of the water. An impressive start for sure, and whilst they might not keep it up for the entire record, it doesn't end abruptly there, thankfully.

Blending the majesty and deliberateness of Yob with the sensuality of Type O Negative, Nixa have crafted a modern sounding Doom album that isn't trying to be too clever like certain others. Unlike Type O..., though, there's not much humour in here. This is serious stuff for sure. Nixa aren't here to sound pretty either. Tracks like 'Destroyer' and 'House Of Serpents' rage and pummel their way along, but not without melody or thought. When the bass guitar finally finds itself alone midway through '...Serpents' it cements Nixa's commitment to having everything sounding big and ballsy, but also keeping a lush-sounding quality to the mix.

Nixa are also effectively bridging any gap between a neoteric sounding Doom and some of the more standard-sounding Post-Metal one might find on labels like Czar of Crickets etc. In places the influences are somewhat obvious, but it doesn't necessarily detract from the experience. In fact Nixa's more derivative elements are often better sounding than many of their reference points. Slightly paradoxically then, or perhaps because of their genre-faithful moments, it's possible much of what Nixa do here will glide past devotees and longtime enthusiasts without much bother. On the other hand, if you're new to all of this, 'Opus Tierra' stands every chance of blowing the top of your head clean off, for what Nixa do in their chosen field, they do terribly well. Familiarity does not necessarily always breed contempt...

Overall, another competent release. Highlights include the huge vocals, memorable choruses, along with the big riffs as well as the haunting atmospheres and textures that permeate the entire album. I've been happily spinning this regularly for the purposes of review but it still remains to be seen if it becomes an album I go back to either peridically or more frequently. 'Opus Tierra', as previously hinted at, is a record that could be met equally with a certain amount of indifference or fervent adulation. I just don't seem to be able to make up my mind which side of the fence I'm sitting on as yet.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Opus Tierra
2. Seed
3. Ambrosia
4. Destroyer
5. House Of Serpents
6. The Mound
7. Restless Seer

Duration : Approx. 38 minutes

Visit the Nixa bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-11-27 by Matt Halsey
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