Xerath – I
UK progressive metal outfit XERATH has the potential to be big! Their self dubbed “Filmscore Metal” (Chug-Score) plays hand and hand with their epic orchestral composition, and the backing brutality makes for an amazing soundscape! The band takes influence from Meshuggah, Dimmu Borgir, and Strapping Young Lad, and while each influence becomes extremely evident in the band’s approach, the band still does things the XERATH way, creating massive, epic, technical, and shocking compositions on their Candlelight Records debut, I.
“Consequences” comes out at maximum power with unbreakable chugs and a hellish orchestra that further paints the picture. You almost feel like XERATH is taking you to a land beyond, and all of you headbangers are going to LOVE “Consequences”! Moving on, “False History” blasts off with such an epic orchestral arrangement that is then followed by a Mesguggah tempo of low ended extreme metal tones. “False History” continues to open up further, and the theatrics really help maintain the integrity of the sound. Their technical abilities shine on “False History” from the guitar solo to the general awareness of doing something different. ‘Reform II” shows XERATH at their most extreme, at least in the intro, and the brutality mixed with the dark symphonic arrangements will catch your attention right away! Though I do have to say the intro is XERATH’s strongest moment in “Reform II”, because some of the synth later on get’s a tad too cheesy, and just doesn’t seem to fit the mix.
My concerns are that XERATH takes a little bit too much of Meshuggah’s style, and sometimes the synthesizer is too much. If they can become a tad more progressive with their brutal and obscure structures, XERATH would be unstoppable. With this recent movement of great metal coming out of the UK, XERATH is one of the better, and I believe their future will be big.
Label: Candlelight Records
By Alex Gilbert