Right when I was ready to close the spellbook on 2019, black metal duo Haxandraok ripped December back open. In a year packed with stellar releases, Haxadroak’s KI SI KIL UD DA KAR RA debut just dragged me from my year-end lists and kicked me into a sacrificial pyre. Luckily, songs like this keep me happily headbanging in the flames. You can join me in the inferno by streaming Haxadroak’s second single “Ba’al Zel Bul at the Gates of NOX” ahead of the album’s December 17th release from Ván Records.
Opening with buzzing flies, the song’s atmosphere feels like a midnight séance. The scythe-sweeping riffs introduce Eastern embellishments as the rhythms of the song’s first half moodswing between stomps and bloodletting blasts. Later, an inspired solo spirals from the blazing lead guitars like incense smoke. In what might be my favorite single black metal minute of 2019, the solo leads listeners to the album’s contagious groove at 4:30. For me, it’s one of those moments that I want to sustain until the sun burns out. The rest of the track shoves you back into a snarl of flies and eerily groaned chants; a harbinger of darkness and enlightenment to come.
Haxandraok offered insight into “Ba’al Zel Bul at the Gates of NOX” with the following statement: “[The song’s] musical and lyrical components consist of a vigorous channeling and a bridge across the ancient cult of Beelzebub, the Draconian Current and the Atlantean Mysteries of NOX. The adept becomes a locus, a dynamic vessel for the tremendous, fathomless energy of the thought-form called upon, assembled by the archetypal elements that have been reflected towards His names across the centuries in numerous traditions. An ascending fall, a dynamic oxymoron, encompassed and disoriented, yet powerfully evolving to a gradual subconscious dive into the Qliphotic seas, to seek the hidden treasures that lay beneath the Gates of NOXON.”