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Xerath I album cover
4.00 | 24 ratings | 4 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intrenity (3:32)
2. Alterra (2:48)
3. Nocturnum (3:46)
4. Consequences (4:28)
5. Interlude (1:40)
6. False History (3:47)
7. Abiogenesis (5:54)
8. Reform Part I (3:21)
9. Reform Part II (4:35)
10. Right to Exist (5:40)

Total Time 39:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Owain Williams / guitars, bass
- Andy Phillips / guitars
- Richard Thomson / vocals
- Michael Pitman / drums

Thanks to CCVP for the addition
and to proglucky for the last updates
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XERATH I ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

XERATH I reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by J-Man
4 stars I Can't Wait To Hear More From This Band!

The first time I heard the debut album from Xerath, I, not only was I extremely impressed by the music, I was in complete shock that this is a debut album. These musicians have next to no experience in other bands, but everything about this album sounds like it was made by extreme metal veterans. The production is fantastic, the musicians are incredible, the songwriting is solid, and the music is unique and enjoyable. Although, like all debuts, there are a few flaws, judging by the sheer quality of this release, I'm sure Xerath will fix it sooner rather than later.

The sound on I is pretty unique. There is a heavy Meshuggah flavor here, but much more melodic. Another unique thing about Xerath is that all of the songs are pretty heavily orchestrated, something you don't find too often in extreme metal. There is also definite progressive metal and power metal influences, but most of the "progressiveness" lies in the orchestrations. The band often calls themselves "orchestral groove metal", and I think that's a pretty accurate description for the Xerath newcomer. If you like metal with heavy symphonic orchestrations, and can handle extreme metal vocals, this album should be right up your alley.

I is a 10-track, 39:31 album. Even though I often complain about extreme metal albums for being too long (over 40-45 minutes), I honestly wish there were more material here. I'm sure Xerath could've pulled off an hour album with ease. This album is incredibly consistent, and all of the songs are absolutely awesome. My favorites are the opening Intrenity, Reform, Part I, Reform, Part II, Right to Exist and Nocturnum. All of the songs are fantastic, though. You could criticize Xerath for having the whole album played in a similar style with no real variation, but it's not a big problem for me. I love their style, and there's enough tempo and mood variations to keep me interested. Not to mention the tracks are absolutely headbanging-worthy.

As mentioned, the musicians are absolutely fantastic, and it's hard to believe that this is their debut album. Michael Pitman especially deserves a round of applause. That guy's an absolute monster on the drums. I have no complaints with any of the other members, as they are all great. I wish there would have been a bit more vocal variation (e.g. clean vocals), but they're fine the way they are. I do love when the operatic vocals occasionally pop up, though. They really add some great variation.

The production is fantastic. It's clean, heavy, and powerful, while still paying attention to small details in the orchestrations. It was mixed by Brett Caldas-Lima, so the fantastic sound doesn't really come as a surprise.


I is a truly superb debut by Xerath, and one of the best extreme metal debuts to come out in 2009. Despite a few small flaws (lack of variation, the album's too short), this is a fantastic release that I will strongly recommend to anyone even slightly interested in extreme prog metal. A 4 star rating is deserved for this great album.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'I' - Xerath (7/10)

Held as one of the most acclaimed metal debuts in 2009, Xerath comes onto the scene with a fairly exciting sound. Although the djent, Meshuggah-laden sound that Xerath plays was already well trodden by the time this album was released, Xerath adds something new and exciting to it; an orchestral, symphonic backing. It comes as no surprise then, that Xerath holds a very epic sound to them. Xerath has a very professional sound to them, even this early on, and while I found myself very disappointed by their sophomore, Xerath shows alot of potential with this impressive first album.

When describing their sound, I hear the powerful chugging grooves of bands like Gojira and Meshuggah, along with the thrashy grandeur of Strapping Young Lad. On top of that, there is this orchestral sound that follows the metal instruments throughout this album, adding plenty of depth to the sound, although it rarely ever takes a forefront in Xerath's music. Speaking of the band's metal sound, it is heavy and oftimes technical, with plenty of chuggy riffs to make up the meat of the band's sound. The vocals here are growled and screamed, like a less melodic Joe Duplantier (of Gojira). The riffs and instrumentation are focused more on rhythm than melody, although the orchestral element adds a slightly more melodic and harmonious edge. True enough, there are plenty of riffs here that get my head banging, although overall, I find that there could have been some extra melodies or more memorable moments around the album to grasp onto. As it stands, Xerath's 'I' sounds more or less the same all throughout, with the obvious 'Interlude' exception being composed only of the symphonic element.

As far as orchestral sounds go in metal, much of it does pass me as being a gimmick, attempting to get the depth of a symphony, without the effort of a complex arrangement. I experienced that disappointment on the band's second album 'II', but in retrospect, 'I' actually has some very complimentary orchestral elements. It would be somewhat boring without the metal elements, but there is an authentic sound to the symphonic elements, and they have a great effect for the atmosphere. Taking Xerath's music from the orchestral angle, it sounds alot like the incidental music for some science fiction epic soundtrack.

Xerath has made a very professional sounding album here, and at a perfect length for this sort of music, it never gets boring. I would have liked some more variety and a sense of surprise in music like this, as Xerath never changes lanes from the first song to last. They do however have a great grasp of their style on this album, and clever enough to bring something new to the table, this is a band that stands on their own two feet in the crowded djent community.

Review by Andy Webb
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.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "I" is the debut full-length studio album by UK symphonic extreme metal act Xerath. The album was released through Candlelight Records in May 2009. The band was formed in 2007 and signed to the label in early 2009.

The band play a heavily orchestrated extreme metal style. The extreme metal part of their sound is influenced by the likes of Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad. Especially chugging groove based angular riffing play a big part on the album. Xerath are no one-trick pony though and the music features influences from all sorts of other artists and musical styles too. Sometimes bordering progressive metal. The classically inspired synth/keyboards work is very impressive and are well integrated with the other parts of the music. Lead vocalist Richard Thomson is quite the asset to the bandīs sound. He is a very skilled extreme metal vocalist able to sing in quite a few different styles. The rest of the band are very well playing too.

...the most important thing though is that the music is really powerful and punchy. The symphonic element doesnīt take away any heaviness and just gives the music a slight polished edge and not a power stealing one. The sound production definitely deserves a mention too for helping to achieve this.

Despite the obvious influences heard in the music Iīd actually call the music on "I" pretty original or at least inventive and adventurous. Itīs not easy to combine heavy riffing and symphonic synths/keyboards and come away successful, but Xerath manage to do just that on "I" and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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