O hay, it’s The King Of Procrastination! I’ve been letting the world of music pass me by the past couple of months as I’m creating my website and writing my horror novel and almost let the top of the year list slip by me. Luckily, Riddick the Cat called me up yesterday and told me to get the hell to work with this because I’m a “better interest to him than the human he lives with.” So there’s that. But, why shall we be bound to doing a list in a multiple of five? “Nay,” says Deadite, “Let’s beat the system and do eleven top albums of the year!” So dark, edgy, and kvlt.
01. Unite To Defy
02. God Of The Frontlines
03. Reform Part III
04. The Call To Arms
05. Machine Insurgency
06. Sworn To Sacrifice
07. Enemy Incited Armageddon
08. Nuclear Self Eradication
09. Numbered Among The Dead
10. The Glorious Death
Xerath‘s debut, aptly titled I, had all the watermarks of a fresh and promising young band. The main idea was on show quite clearly: juddering Meshuggah riffs set against orchestral parts that made even the most grandiose statements by Dimmu Borgir or Emperor seem a little half-hearted – but it all came in a package that was just a little rough around the edges; the vision hadn’t been fully realised yet.
Enter II. This Basingstoke quartet have taken a huge leap forwards in progression from the aforementioned 2009 offering and it shows most prominently in the song composition. I feel bad in admitting that I never thought they could come up with the grooves that end “God Of The Frontlines“or the djent-ish riffs showcased in “Machine Insurgency,” but I am incredibly happy to be proven wrong. On the note of djent, I think it’s fair to say that the sudden rise of the ‘genre’ (I use the term loosely because I know how easily it sets people off) has had an impression on the band. While not adhering to that sound entirely, they stay more true to sound of recent Meshuggah or even Gojira by steering clear of a lot of the pitfalls of the genre such as excessive clean singing and emphasis on melody.
We move towards the djenty realms today with Xerath (pronounced, I assume, ‘Zerath’), a UK band who set out to combine film-like scoring with polyrhythms and general metal-type sounds. The result is pretty tasty. They cite bands like Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad and Opeth as major influences, so it’s fairly easy to see where this is going to go, and that it’s going to be pretty easy on the ears.
They won Terrorizer Magazine’s best unsigned band of 2007, and were signed by Candlelight Records some time after that, who handle label duties for Opeth and Emperor. Their debut album I is out, and we’re expecting II soon. I wish bands would stop naming their albums like that, but if wishes were fishes I’d be drowning in halibut.
Xerath are a prog metal quartet from good ol’ mother England. They’ve been chugging their way to a deal with candlelight records and have finally released their debut album ” I “ which is available now. This band fuses Meshuggah style chug riffs, with harsh thrash like vocals and a heavy orchestral back ground. They dub themselves filmscore metal, or chugscore due to the fact that they sound like an action movie score. Not everything is a chug, so don’t worry. You’re not going to get constant triplets and odd timings for 12 songs. They have traditional riffs, squealing pinches and solos and all that fancy stuff that all you fancy people like. I haven’t heard the album yet, only the songs on their myspace titled “False History” and “Reform I” which are fantastic and lead me to promote this album. They’ll have shirts coming out soon, and as I said the album is out now so hop in your lorry and grab a whole load of these and give me a copy.
Xerath at myspace:
Buy record at Plastic Head distro.: