“Loch Ness Rising”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Nessie is not the only slice of the unknown haunting Loch Ness. The Great Beast Aleister Crowley once made his home there in Urquhart Castle on the shores of the murky loch. There he conceived of many of the tenets of his Thelemic religion before departing to different climes.  When Haxxan talks about “Loch Ness Rising”, they are speaking of Crowley, not the aquatic cryptid lurking in the deep.

Haxxan is an exploration of dark and mystical metal that emanates from the mind of the revered Killjoy, best known for creating enduring death metal band Necrophagia. Because of Killjoy’s involvement, quality is a virtual guarantee. Haxxan is a more stately and structured effort than Necrophagia but not lacking heaviness. There’s a doomy vibe to it all as the songs plod forth with engaging riffs and measured intent. Wisps of Celtic Frost, early Samael and even Black Sabbath waft from the gloomy tunes and Killjoy’s raspy vocals reveal the esoteric wisdom of Crowley. The old boy frequently shows up during the songs in the form of samples from his lectures and incantations.
None of the songs go past the five minute mark and each one is focused and brisk, if more than a little familiar. The surging “Discples of the Silent” and “Chemical Perversions” tickle my fancy the best. “Aiwass”  and “The Aethyr” are bits of dark psychedelic prog that could almost have come from those eerie Italian prog bands of the 70’s. Clearly each tune has its own meaning and force.

Not really skull crushing death or black metal, Haxxan is something more controlled yet still potent. Well worth checking out.