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Xerath
III

Company: Candlelight
Release: 2014
Genre: Gothic death
Rating: 3.5
Reviewer: Greg Watson

  • An interesting dynamic



  • UK symphonic metal group Xerath are one of those bands that aren't an outfit you can listen to day in and day out. It's more mood music of a sort that you really have to be in the mindset to listen to. 'III', the band's latest opus, is an album that somewhat bucks that trend. While there is an ever present symphonic overtone, the album feels more like a death metal album with an orchestral backing. There aren't intricate arrangements that the guitar just works itself into, the arrangements go around the guitar. There are songs where the arrangements are the featured instrumentation and on these tracks, the guitar doesn't try to compete but rather turns into a gracious spectator. Vocally the album features a mix of death and hardcore style singing. With the aggressiveness of the guitar and the arrangements, the vocals tend to mesh quite well with whatever instrument is featured on each track. Tracks like "Death Defiant", "I Hunt for the Weak" and "Ironclad" feel more like traditional death metal tracks through and through. However, the blend of death metal and symphonic metal together create an interesting dynamic, where they almost feed off each other like parasitic partners, each growing stronger on the other's mettle. As the album progresses, it creates an almost paradoxical partnership. This album provides listeners with a unique soundscape that appears to be constantly shifting and changing as the album moves along. The album closes out with a two-part orchestral piece that also features some aggressive guitar riffs in the second part of the piece. This album won't be for everyone but I found it to be a very intricately, well-put together offering and will find myself going back to this one more and more.


    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: XERATH
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    IIIXerath
    2014
    Greg Watson1/6/2015


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: XERATH

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    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: XERATH
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