Eye of Nix Credit: Anima Nocturna

The new third full-length from Seattle five-piece Eye of Nix, Ligeia (Prophecy), is a gloriously self-possessed howl and wail that floats through the walls between genres like a vengeful ghost. In a 2015 interview with Vice, front woman Joy Von Spain eloquently described the band’s process: “A piece or song that begins in silence and climbs to these weird places, pushing icy noise into blast beats and screams or aria high notes, takes a lot of structural choices. You have to build bridges to find a way there.” To that end, the band members draw on their individual strengths to collectively forge those paths. Drummer Luke LaPlante is an MVP here, his forceful versatility giving a muscular underpinning to the band’s flights of fancy: when “Stranded” breaks from its dreamy intro into its roaring metallic phase, it’s like getting curb-stomped by the Cocteau Twins. Eye of Nix’s songwriting palette includes tones of brown and gold as well as black: they’ve cited Swans and Wovenhand as influences, and those bands’ organic apocalyptic sensibility can be heard in Eye of Nix’s more romantic moments. The album is named after an Edgar Allan Poe character who could be described as his ideal woman: beautiful, brilliant, and doomed. The title track—one of my favorite songs so far this year—evokes Ligeia’s femininity, using layers of clean, eerie vocals and watery guitar jangle to ethereal effect. A similar spirit pervades the video for the heavy, surging “Concealing Waters,” directed by Joseph Seuferling, who’s also designed visuals for the band’s concerts—I hope that someday soon we’ll have a chance to safely experience Eye of Nix bring it all together onstage.   v