Over the past several years, death metal has experienced a renaissance of epic proportions, fueled by movements of radical innovation (propelled by bands such as Ingurgitating Oblivion, Pyrrhon, Alkaloid, Artificial Brain, and a host of others) and adherence to the genre’s most cherished and essential elements (think early Horrendous, Blood Incantation, Father Befouled, and essentially the entire Dark Descent catalog). These two radically different approaches to death metal have pushed the genre into a phase that is intent on propulsion into the future and perfection of the past, building and building until we’ve reached 2020, which is already poised to deliver us some of the best death metal from both camps in years. Of the incredible number of bands reaching for the stars and deep into the crypts to capture the essence of the death metal ethos, Xpus are a band that can be staunchly and prominently placed among the largest and surliest of cave dwellers. Their sophomore record In Umbra Mortis Sedent is a pure, unfiltered distillation of the gnarliest, surliest sounds conjured by bands like Morbid Angel and Incantation, and those who worship at the shrine of old school death metal will find nothing but pleasure in its fetid embrace. We’re pleased to premiere a killer track from this record, “Of Purity, Chastity and Temptation”, exclusively here at Heavy Blog Is Heavy.
From the opening moments of this track, it’s clear that the band aren’t attempting to obfuscate their influences. It practically bleeds Deicide-esque levels of atmospheric violence, which manifest themselves all the more clearly as the riffs kick in. Launching into dark, blast-beaten passage with a disgusting amount of relish, the first minute or so of the track feels like nothing less than a traditional OSDM barnburner pulled straight from the early 90s. But it’s when the album’s more doomy section lurches into the limelight that the band display their tight but effective range, channeling the soul of Incantation and morphing their songwriting into an even more putrid manifestation of old school worship. It’s a pure headbanger from start to finish, and there’s little here for fans of death metal’s most traditionally disgusting sounds to be upset about.
Death metal’s history has one of the more thrilling trajectories in the music world at large, and “Of Purity, Chastity and Temptation” delivers another harrowing chapter in its modern plundering of ancient (yeah, the 90s were that long ago) history. Xpus are a band poised to block out a chunk of the modern OSDM corner, and In Umbra Mortis Sedent is a sterling example of how to worship the old in a manner pleasing to the death metal gods. Look for it May 8th on Transcending Obscurity Records, and preorder it on Bandcamp