IXXI

Elect Darkness

Candlelight 2009

Swedish black metal with dissonant riffs crashing against heavy grooves and tormented vocals, that is IXXI's new album Elect Darkness in its essence.  Dissonant best sums up the sound of IXXI and it is not unlike some of the members' other band Ondskapt.  Listen to album opener Underworld with its subtlely morphing riffs, disharmonic guitars, and low end groove. Southern Plagues boasts an opening riff that reeks of new metal and is the low point for this album.  Thankfully it doesn't continue.  With a thick meaty Black n' Roll groove driving it forward like a black metal bulldozer, Sinrush stops for shrill arcing notes contrasting against the almost mechanical sounding guitar chords.  With lethargic doomy main riffs creating a sinister, almost apocalyptic vibe, Beyond the Rupture is masked by authoritative and militant vocals from Totalscorn.  Enthusiasm however in sharp contrast embodies all aspects of typical Swedish black metal from the cold unfeeling and melodic riffs to the grim and scornful vocals.  Northern Flood however has a strong black n' roll feeling and its main riff reminds me somewhat of Khold at their most dynamic.  Clean and tragic guitars announce the final composition on the album, A Bitter Lesson.  The song's entirety is permeated with a somber almost despondent mood no matter if it is during clean guitar passages or thick crushing riff blizzards.  Elect Darkness to me is better and more distinct than IXXI's first album.  However it can tend to get lost in background noise of other black metal bands and doesn't compare to Ondskapt.  This album exudes feelings of bitterness and hatred and IXXI create an album of pure black metal energy.