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Xanthochroid
Of Erthe and Axen: Act II
Type: CD
Company: Erthe and Axen
Release: 2017
Genre: Black
Reviewer: Greg Watson
Published: 10/11/2017
Masters of musical story telling
With the release of the second part for 'Of Erthe and Axen', I was very excited to see what Act II held in store and how it differed from Act I.

I was really pleased with the continuation of the story and felt that Act II was more tense and dynamic in the unfolding of the story plot. The songs are just as high quality as they are in Act I and this one features a bit more of the black metal vocals throughout. I did miss the female vocals that were a big highlight from Act I and hopefully they will utilize those going forward as I feel it really adds some depth and dynamism to the overall feel of the band. The music tends to be a bit more epic on this release, given that it is the second act and they're building to what I presume is a close. I don't know if an Act III is in the works or not but if this is where this portion of the story stops, it leaves you hanging precariously on the cliff's edge, straining to maintain your fingerhold and not slip into oblivion.

The biggest gripe that I have with Act II is the vocal layering is so heavy and so low in the overall production that I wouldn't have been able to make out any of the portions where the vocals are being delivered simultaneously with the big symphonic pieces. If there's no bombastic music or large symphonic arrangements taking place at the same time, you can make out the vocals pretty well but even still, not having a lyric sheet will really make it a tough task.

Xanthochroid are masters of musical story telling and have once again delivered a solid release with 'Of Erthe and Axen: Act II'. So go out and get both Acts and prepare to become immersed and engrossed in the world of Xanthochroid's creation.


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.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: XANTHOCHROID
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Blessed He With BoilsXanthochroid
2012
Greg Watson6/28/2013
Of Erthe and Axen: Act 1Xanthochroid
2017
Greg Watson8/16/2017
Of Erthe and Axen: Act IIXanthochroid
2017
Greg Watson10/11/2017


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: XANTHOCHROID

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: XANTHOCHROID
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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