AMN Reviews: Nox – Abyssal Codex (2022; Winter-Light)

Nox is Jurica Santek, back for a second album of modern dark ambient. In addition to the typical drones and synth layers, Santek adds field recordings, environmental noises, and various types of crackling, static, and percussive elements. Indeed, these non-drone features are what move the ten medium-length tracks on this release forward, giving them a singular voice.

Case in point, Portal Consecration launches with a deep, oscillating drone that is quickly accompanied by at least two more layers of synth. The latter provide slow-paced, ominous melodies. But the echoing percussion (sounding like chains rattling), mechanical noises, and subtle voice-like cries dominate the foreground.

Thus, Abyssal Codex, while employing gloomy soundscapes, can also be thought of as an expression of post-industrial or electroacoustic music. Regardless of category, the use of such a wide palette of unconventional snippets puts the listener on the edge of their seat.

Abyssal Codex came out on June 24 from Winter-Light.