FIAT NOX – Demanifestation: Hymns of Destruction and Nothingness EP (Crawling Chaos Records January 22nd 2022)

3 tracks / 30 min. 03 sec.

Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten? No, not really. This quartet hailing from Bremen, Germany, performs Black Metal and dubs themselves FIAT NOX, which signifies as much as ‘Let there be Night’! This EP is the successor of the debut full-length album The Archive of Nightmares and the EP In Contemptuous Defiance. Do not be misled: even though this is an EP with only three tracks, you still get half an hour of music on your plate. Let’s take a moment to dive deeper into this material marketed as recommended for fans of DISSECTION, Mgła, Svartidauði.

A pure and subdued melody preludes The Enshrouded Gateway as silence before the storm, just like EMPEROR’s Al Svartr (The Oath) rides in like a Trojan horse into Ye Entrancempyrium. Suddenly, a surprise attack of distortion and furious blast beats take over. When around 3 minutes have passed, a catchy riff kicks in. It commemorates DISSECTION and OUTLAW. Blistering blast beats (think Vyl on KEEP OF KALESSIN’s Armada) accompany the whole. Two minutes later, you can gasp for air again. Twin harmonies follow. The vocals vary from fierce cries to heroic chants. When 8 minutes clock in, one reminisces BEHEMOTH’s Chant for Eschaton 2000 from the Satanica era. After a dynamic journey, the tune fades out with again those twin harmonies. This robust composition tells a story and is my preferred track -a modest masterpiece- of this EP. Epic!

Spacy synths on Cosmos into Chaos announce a black hole of obscure, sinister & malicious riffs, death growls, and hypnotic, repetitive drumming. The ambiance is oppressive and nightmarish, like AKHLYS manages to forge, particularly when striking strings with atonal patterns. It gets under your skin. Occasionally, it is as if Nergal is assisting with his characteristical demonic commands. With this poisonous piece, FIAT NOX shows a different face. One needs to be in the mood for this. A whole album in this unsettling fashion would be demanding to chew and digest, but this track is the odd one out on this EP. Luckily, like no other, FIAT NOX comprehends how to bring the vital variation to an album.

Dissonant strings, marching battery, and death growls intrude the sound of a crackling fire on Demanifestation as a feverish, delirious nightmare. The blend of riffs and the heroic, conjuring chants in the vein of Nergal again recollect BEHEMOTH. After all the violence, we get treated with a melodic lead and its melancholic air as an interlude. Through an outburst of pummeling double-bass drums, fast riffing, and acclamations, Demanifestation builds up to the climax with a sudden ending.

H.P. Lovecraft, the dark side of man, the world’s downfall, the night, negativity, nihilism, nightmares, and chaos serve as an inspiration to the lyrics. HELLISH VISION designed the bloodred cover artwork, as was the case for the debut album The Archive of Nightmares. Patrick W. Engel at Temple Of Disharmony took care of the mastering.

Due to its layered and complex nature (EMPEROR and KEEP OF KALESSIN), you might not love this EP at first hearing. Admittedly, this is far from easy-listening, yet the compositions are balanced and varied. Demanifestation might require multiple hearing sessions, but there is a treasure to discover. This EP is such an album that grows on you. Structured compositions and tight musicianship bear witness to the fact that FIAT NOX masters the craft of solid songwriting. This piece of music is not quite your next-door Black Metal, but rather intelligent, next-level Black Metal instead. Therefore, I smell potential, and I am pretty convinced we will hear more of this qualitative Black Metal revelation in the future. By the way, stay tuned for an interview with Desmotes (guitars/vocals)!

8.6 out of 10 skulls

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