NOX  Enigma  CASSETTE   (Frozen Wing Records)   7.00

The most mysterious of the Frozen Wing bands, the French group Nox is faceless, nameless, with almost no background information to be found anywhere, save for the limited text that they provide in each of their cassette releases, and the occult communications found within their eerie post-industrial hallucinations. Inside the sleeve for Enigma, the shadowy outfit delivers the following declaration, translated from the French :

"Nox encourages adultery. Nox encourages theft.Nox encourages lying. Nox encourages hatred. Nox encourages revenge. Nox encourages suicide."

It's the sort of manifesto you'd expect from a gang of snarling black metallers. But Nox is a far cry from black metal, despite their presence on Frozen Wing, a label that has carved out a nice little niche for itself as a source for the weirder underbelly of French black industrial/ambience. While there are some metallic elements that appear in Nox's music, this is more like a strange type of sinister baroque electronica, blending together Middle Eastern woodwind melodies, shuffling Tribal house rhythms, gothic strings and piano, choral voices, dark ambience, surges of droning, sludgy metallic guitar, booming blown-out drums, wobbly post-punk bass lines, and essentially no vocals aside from the wordless chanting and choir vocals that show up here and there. Both Muslimgauze and Coil are obvious influences on Nox's music, but so too is the weirder fringe of black industrial, apparent in the chugging metallic muck, martial percussion and horror-soundtrack loops and piano of "J'entends La Voie". Strange stuff, with cryptic track titles, even more cryptic text inside the sleeve (what does S.V.L.S.O. mean?), and the b-side of the cassette left completely blank. This was just one of two cassettes that Nox released in 2009 (the other being Thul Okgha , also featured in this week's new arrivals list), and after these tapes came out the mysterious French group has never been heard from since...