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Xerath - I CD (album) cover

I

Xerath

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.95 | 17 ratings

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Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars While I'm in an extreme metal kind of mood, I thought I'd spin an album I haven't heard in years ? the UK extreme metallers Xerath's 2009 debut I. Born of the wave of djent-related extreme progressive metal bands of the day, Xerath are fairly unique in their approach to extreme metal. Not only do they mash ferocious 8-stringed riffs with Jens Kidamn-esque vocals, they throw in orchestral samples for a treat! Xerath, as far as I know, are just about the only band to do this, other than perhaps Fleshgod Apocalypse's more symphonic samples. And while FA is a more neoclassical extreme metal band, Xerath takes their orchestral sound and fully incorporates it into their crushing, groovy sound.

I is like the culmination of all the good things of extreme metal. Xerath takes the pure rage of Meshuggah, mixes it with the groove of Gojira, the distorted melodic density of Devin Townsend, and adds an orchestra to boot. The entire album is packed with mind-numbing riffs and head-trashing grooves, and the melodic orchestration of the guitars, the orchestral samples, and the subtly melodic screams is excellent. The production is polished, well mixed, and well-presented, and the band is unashamed to show their full power even in their debut.

The album presents little variation in terms of structure, but the band seems to have perfected the form they present their album in. While over the 40 minute album the sample-riff-vocal-riff- sample structure is worn thin, it's a relentlessly practiced and well-executed approach to extreme metal. The band functions as a well-oiled machine, coming in and out of riffs without any awkward moments. The songs are short, to their benefit, and the band packs material into their songs.

Even though I first heard this album five years ago when it came out and the band has since released a follow up (cleverly titled II), I'm still always excited when I see new material or announcements released by this band. The band, even in two albums, have shown they are a very mature and serious band in the extreme metal scene. They have a unique sound and are not afraid to shove it in the listeners face to the best effect possible. It's been three years since they released their follow up, and I seriously hope they release something new soon! 4 stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |

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