“The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Whenever you see the word “ritualistic” used to describe a band, you better be prepared for a lot of mumbo jumbo and ultra-serious mystic terminology. The press sheet for this album is packed with more mystic gibberish than any I have ever encountered, making Nox Formulae sound more like a naughty New Age project than a black metal band. If you love terms like “The Draconian/Typhonian Principle” and “forbidden Black Gnosis”, this is the record for you.

Seriously, this Greek BM band is not half bad when it comes to this “ritualistic”, vaguely tribal black metal. It sounds appropriately dark and murky, with a lot of dissonance and chanted spells. The Greeks have always had their own take on BM and Nox Formulae is part of that tradition. Most of the tunes here drone and repeat, which can be effective…but also dull. You get a little bit of both here.  There’s some good and epic structure to tunes like “O.D. Dominion” and “Voudoun Lwa Legba”…they know how to build tension. 

It’s not as original as Nox Formulae would like to think it is, but they’ve put forth a credible album with “The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy”.