Sunday, December 21, 2014

Xenosis - Xenosis

A review of the band's 2010 EP. a bit hard to find now. 

Xenosis are a technically-inclined modern death metal band who find grooves in odd rhythmic patterns and make their mark with memorable melodic leads. This is exceptionally clean, but not digitally sterile, a wonderful combination of qualities for a band of this style in this era. The drumming is fantastic and has a nice, human feel to it, and it forms the foundation for some riffing that takes cues from progressive wizards like Ihsahn while maintaining a more straightforward melodic sensibility and instrumentation. The riffing is quirky - it's not quite normal-timed, and neither the guitars nor drums accent it in a really straightforward manner, which gives it an enjoyable character despite being very catchy with melodic and rhythmic hooks. The guitar leads and solos have some really strong hooks - even in improvised solos - especially "Noble Bastard" and "Contribution to the Plague." I'm really impressed by Mark Lyon's catchy, melodic sense in his solos, which contrasts nicely to the band's rhythmically-oriented riffing. Xenosis are technically accomplished and that certainly shows here, with production that isn't overly polished, but demonstrates a tightly-rehearsed performance by some very skilled musicians. They have a strong rhythmic sense without falling into the overly-simple and non-melodic trappings of bands like Meshuggah and Gojira. This band is worth a listen if you're interested in modern death metal that emphasizes complex rhythmic and melodic sensibilities.

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