Company: Erthe and Axen Records Release: 2012 Genre: Black Reviewer: ChaosLord
Lush, emotive brand of metal
It is very rare that I run across a band that makes me wonder how they've slipped through the cracks and been unbeknownst to me. Well Xanthochroid is one of those bands. This California quintet offers up Epic Black Metal and what they deliver is a lush, emotive brand of metal that could be the score to the next installment of The Hobbit or a new Lord of the Rings movie.
In all my years of listening to metal, I have never heard anything quite like this. "Blessed He With Boils" is the bands debut album. Not to say the band has been inactive. They've been around since 2005 and the founding member of the band, Sam Meador, has been actively working on a story and universe that he has brought to life through the band's music. With all the other band members abilities coupled with Meador's drive produces an album unlike anything out in the metal world at this time now or at any time prior.
All the band members are classically trained and their abilities shine through in this debut album. There is black metal as we are all familiar with, folk elements and even pop elements. But what really hits you with this album is when you sit down and actually listen to the album. You can hear every note, every word and every little nuance the band incorporates into this album. The album has so much to offer as I previously mentioned that it would be impossible for me to detail everything in here without taking the effort of a small novella to even begin to do it justice.
The black metal elements of the album are very similar to old Dimmu Borgir before they became more mainstream, back when the evil was still very present. Meador's vocals on these songs are eerily reminiscent of a combo of Shagrath and Ihsahn. Musically it is black metal in it's purest form. The rest of the album sounds incredibly ethereal and eerie yet soothing and serene all at the same time. The classical training of the band really comes through on songs like "Aquatic Deathgate Existence", "Winter's End" and "Deus Absconditus Part I".
I can't say enough about this album and had I come across this album in 2012, it would have been my album of the year choice by a landslide. If you are looking for something different, something that isn't your typical metal album, then this is the album for you. If you are just looking for something to renew your love of metal, pick this album up. If you are just a fan of metal in general, pick this album up. Now that I have heard about this band and they are on my radar, I am eagerly awaiting the next offering from this band with baited breath.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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