The Norwegian trio Noxagt hammer home good old thud-rock. Falling squarely in the same monkey barrel of art-school squall as labelmates Lightning Bolt, these kids rarely rev things above a trudge, evincing the last steps of some gargantuan Viking as he freezes to death in a mystical Norse forest. Spooky!
Bassist Kjetil D. Brandsdal started the band as a solo project in 1999, eventually enlisting drummer Jan Christian L. Kyvik and viola player Nils Erga by 2001. The music is harsh, but capable of achieving a kind of demented beauty. While Brandsdal and Kyvik lay down a deliberate pounding, Erga's untreated viola adds both zigzagging melodies and horrific noises. And as would be expected from any band formed in Norway, a black-metal majesty emerges here and there, as well as an overall sense of a violent doom.
Since 2003, the band has released three full-lengths on Load Records, and like any Load band worth anything, Noxagt creates ultra-heavy, sonically challenging noise-rock held together by a passel of hooks Tony Iommi and Billy Gibbons would fight over.