IXXI - Elect Darkness

Grab a bible, hold tight to a crucifix and stash away all your liquor because Sweden’s IXXI are back with another slab of unholy and evil sounding Black n’ Roll.
Throughout 55 minutes Nine/Eleven violently bash out a raw and filthy hybrid of Black, Thrash-Metal and Rock n’ Roll riffs, which the Swedes brand as their own version of Black-Metal overhauled for the new millennium. Indeed, in many instances IXXI adheres to a catchy and groovy riffing that displays a slight modern-day influence, which becomes pretty damn apparent when “Southern Tribes” kicks in with a groovy riff undeniably reminiscent of Sepultura circa “Roots” days. However, I wouldn’t say the band’s tendency to incorporate such latter-day strokes within a more stripped-down, rudimentary and old-school riffing inspired in Celtic Frost entirely works in their favour as there’re several moments throughout “Elect Darkness” that sound ill-sorted and somewhat insipid.
Despite these shabby arrangements, “Elect Darkness” has nonetheless its points of interest and the focus of the these eleven songs is primarily on slower to mid-paced, catchy riffs that have a similar crunch to Satyricon-post “Volcano” and the ghoulish snarls of vocalist Totalscorn that hint heavily at Mayhem’s Attila Chisar.
Album opener “Underworld” is probably where the presence of Satyricon is most prominent with its rock-based and catchy riffs flowing at a mid-paced almost militaristic pace.
Another song worthy of mention is the album’s closer “A Bitter Lesson”, where the band veers a little off the main course into a more slow, mournful and atmospheric composition.
If only IXXI could develop some of the more interesting twists they display here and there, “Elect Darkness” could eventually become a more interesting proposition and easily warrant repeated listens.

Band info: www.myspace.com/ixxiofficial
Label info: www.candlelightrecords.co.uk