Of No Return
(2014, EP) Yay, another band that starts with X! Xenomorphic
Contamination sound a bit like Decrepit Birth mixed with Arkaik,
Hour Of Penance and "F" album era Morbid Angel. Strong riffs help the
band rise above similar entities. Also pretty insane drumming provided
by Davide Billia, this guy has the most even sounding double bass I
have ever seen, talk about cybernetic legs. Vocals are midranged
growls. Very enjoyable EP, nothing earth shattering but high quality
all the way.
From The Inside (2016) Sadly, I found this album a little
lacking compared to their first EP. First, production wise, I
appreciate the super low detuned sound, but like the new Septycal
Gorge, I'm finding the sound kind of muffled. Since two songs on this
album are from their EP, its pretty easy to A/B the songs, and I
definitely feel the EP versions work better due to their mix. It's just
easier to appreciate the riffs without quite as much distorted noise.
of brutality, but the songs don't have a lot of variety, and so
everything kind of blends together, without enough super memorable
hooks to grab the listener. Overall, there's nothing wrong with the
album, the performance is good, the songs are decent and the mix is ok,
but it doesn't rise up to the spectacular level that I had hoped for.
Check it out, but I'm hoping their next album may have worked out some
of the kinks.
(2011) Finally, band that starts with the letter X for my reviews page
:) Xerath could best be described as symphonic blackened death metal.
It has some similarities to bands such as Behemoth, but with many extra
elements. The music is more complex with a lot of Meshuggah-like poly
rhythms. Lots of keyboards, samples and symphonic elements in all the
songs give it that "Army of banshees screaming from atop the mountain"
feel. Speaking of screaming, the vocals are for the most part screamed
in a black metal sorta way. Overall, even with so many elements going
on, the band manages to make them all blend seamlessly. The music is
complex without going over the top, the sound is super powerful and the
symphonic elements are used perfectly to add atmosphere (they also give
the music a bit of that soundtrack feel, like this album is the music
for some huge epic medieval battle film). Pretty impressed with these
guys, worth checking out.
(2014) Pretty similar to "II", but a few of the band's elements are
more prominent this time, while others take a more backseat roll.
Specifically, the symphonic parts are a bit bigger, while the metal
elements are a bit more subdued, especially earlier in the album. Like
the first track 'I Hold Dominion' seems almost more like stadium rock,
imagine Whitesnake with black metal vocals, maybe even a little Devin
Townsend feel. Track 2 '2053' goes a little more to their metal style,
with chunky guitars and double bass. But the first really strong metal
song is track 4, 'Autonomous', which is fast metal with all the
heaviness of the strongest material on their previous album. Some great
grooves, I love 'Ironclad', it has a really unique main riff. If you
like the band's mix of styles, I think you'll dig this one too, but
maybe a bit more thrashiness all the way through next time please.
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Mia Gracia Por Los Dias (2010)
La Muerte (2012)
Y Libertad (2015) A death metal / sludge metal band from Pomona
California. If I had to come up with a comparison, I'd say imagine a
cross between the heavier parts of Gojira and Obituary. So a combo of
midpaced pummeling and slow sludgy riffs. Soundwise, they have a big
wall of sound (thanks to multiple guitar overdubs and a highly
distorted bass), but unlike say Obituary, the sound is very dirty, it
has an unpolished feel. This slight under-production could come off as
unprofessional, but they ride the line perfectly and instead it comes
across as making their sound more raw and nasty. Vocals are midranged
shouts, both in English and Spanish. Overall, I'd imagine that molten
lava pouring from a volcano sounds a little like this. This album is
heavy as fuck, they have some nice memorable riffs (I especially like
'Guerilla'), and the performance is vicious. Well worth checking out.