Tight, heavy, fast and ferocious, Xenobiotic step up to the plate again to unleash hell on their latest album Mordrake.
A long intro builds the tension into Insomnia, distorted appegios give way to chugging riffs and a scathing vocal attack, underpinned with a deceptively plodding drum beat. Light That Burns the Sky introduces two-tier vocal harmonies and malicious, single-note melody lines, adding further depth to the Xenobiotic attack. It’s a strong beginning, but as they carry through into the next couple of tracks, a feeling of general sameness starts to creep in.
That is until Saphris ascends gradually on a melancholy piano riff before a clash with speedy, howling metal with icy atmospherics. The injection of this black metal aestethic lifts Saphis above the level of the rest of Mordrake, a clear highlight. Xenobiotic reach another pinnacle with the two-part closing epic where the band show all their colours, progressive riff structures and arrangements pushing each other toward a towering crescendo that drifts to silence on a surging melody. The balance of the album doesn’t quite rise to the same heights – Mordrake is technical death metal impressively played, but the songs lack true variety to really set them apart.
- Light That Burns the Sky
- Grieving Loss of Self
- Mordrake I – Reverie
- Mordrake II – Acquiesce