Ascension from Seattle’s Nox Novacula might be almost two years old at this point but who says we need to hold off on a review for something so rad just because it’s already out for the masses to hear? We’re reviewing a Huey Lewis anniversary album soon which we guarantee has been reviewed a TON and while Nox Novacula is no & The News (Can anyone really ever be, though?) we feel our comparison is still intact.
But I digress!
Is Post-Darkwave a thing? Can we make it a thing? Because Ascension kind of embodies that aesthetic to a T! If Siouxsie Sioux fronted Editors! If Boy Harsher dabbled in Post-Rawk! And throw some Soviet Soviet and Ritual Howls in there for good measure, alright? Regardless of comparisons, the music that Charlotte Blythe, Dav Tafoya, Ezra Bolotin, and Zu Leika concoct together is delightfully dark, densely dynamic, and just something that needs to be in your life yesterday.
“Pray For Sleep” is it. If you were looking in a dictionary for the definition of Post-Rawk or Darkwave or Goth Rawk in a perfect world then a link to “Pray For Sleep” would be the only thing displayed. Similarly, “Drug (Bitter Pill)” is a fast paced haunting track that already expands on what that opening track laid forth. The title track is timeless, going Old School with its’ guitar tones especially while “Last Will and Testament” brings some big beats during an especially ethereal Rawk number.
But if you really wanna go the Gothic route, “Against the Wall” evokes and invokes the spirits thanks in part to both Tafoya’s synths and bass work as Blythe gives an intensely impassioned vocal delivery throughout this one! “Face the Stench” is built from some positively ectoplasmic leaning guitar lines from Leika, “Victim” gets its’ menace on with the way Bolotin’s drumming is rambunctiously rumbling as Blythe’s voice tears yer earholes a new one, and “Shattered” is the whole go big or go home argument come to life with a massive seven minute epic to close the record that’s definitely creepy but not altogether kooky.
Ascension is out now! You can get yours to stream and/or purchase when you head here or by clicking on the Bandcamp stream below and for the latest from Nox Novacula, including some close-ish to us tour dates in September, follow them across their socials which are all located here.