These days just about anyone could write an album loosely based on astral projection/space/aliens and all that sci-fi jazz and the denizens of Internet would lap it up like apple sauce! There are few who absolutely excel at this task, do it with flair, then there are a few who make it look like a clichéd farce! Xenosis of course belong to the former category. It simply amazes (and amuses) me how many great technically proficient metal acts are out there, unbeknownst to all simply because the haystack keeps getting bigger and bigger and the proverbial needle gets smaller and smaller. Discovering Xenosis was one of the few good things that happened towards the fag-end of 2015, given how many replays their entire sophomore album “Sowing the Seeds of Destruction” have garnered from yours truly.
“Sowing the Seeds of Destruction” is a Death Metal record with progressive and technical elements thrown in for good measure. The sound infuses strains of Melodeath, Thrash and Deathcore as well but sticks to being a thought-provoking slab of Death Metal goodness. If this is the first Xenosis record that you are listening to, chances are their penchant for crushing grooves, monstrous hooks and unorthodox melodies would remind you of pioneers The Faceless. However, it would be simply unfair to lump the band into that category, given how much more they bring to the table. The quintet does not always follow the breadcrumbs left in its trail by the frontrunners in this race and follow a formula to land a surefire successful record. This is where those influences from other genres come into play. The album opener “Arise” is a testament to that given the face melting thrashy groove it unleashes right off the bat!
For long time followers of the genre, I expect some skepticism at first because Xenosis is no Necrophagist. But, given the organized, systematic destruction they have unleashed on this record, suffice to say the band shall have a steady army of followers and a place in the premium Death Metal gigs besides the frontrunners, should they stick to being this out- of- the- box. Tracks like “Rebuild, Renew” remind you how much hooks are important in a Death Metal record, and that inhuman speed is not a necessary ingredient for a technical or a progressive tagged record. The duo of Mark Lyon and Ernie DelVecchio have some awesome chemistry between them, because the guitars always seem to create a mesh of unconventional riffs and melody when required. If not the end all-be all of the record, the guitarwork on the album makes up for at least 2/5th of its excellence!
The vocals sounded aces to me right from the start, fitting in with the instrumental section like an iron glove, the drum and bass section made me sit up and take notice by the third track “Red Waves”, another gem in the tracklist! The drumwork should remind any Death Metal fan worth his salt of Gojira, and the delicious bass lines merge with it beautifully to show us another side of Xenosis. The amalgamation of all these farfetched influences should nudge any eager Death Metal fan to sit through the entire record without prejudice, the best way to sample “Sowing the Seeds of Destruction”. The band had more surprises up its sleeve with “From Flesh to Dirt”: there were melody lines on the guitars, clean vocals, vocal samples, some Archenemy style growls, and some more Gojira-esque grooves on the drums.
Vocalist Jeff Haddad reminded me of so many of my favorite frontmen (and women) with his diverse range of vocal delivery, that somewhere through the mid-section of the record I took it for granted that this dude would never let the listener down anywhere on the record. The rhythm section seems to be the one that demanded the most attention with its dual assault from time to time; the duo of David Legenhausen (bass) and Gary Marotta (drums) have their work cut out for each other as they keep unleashing unexpected sieges on the listeners with their synchronized grooves, and the melodic bass runs and helter-skelter double-pedal work. The resultant is the juggernaut “Czernobog” parts 1 and 2! The band throws in some djenty riffs in the mix too, lest the music became predictable!
I simply had no clue this promising brand of music had its nails deeply dug in Connecticut! I was for the most part aware of the Hardcore brethren there, but with the discovery of Xenosis, one cannot help but sift through hours’ worth of underground Metal records from all over the planet, in the hopes of stumbling across another gem like this one. Seriously, the only mistake that Xenosis could ever make is to wander into conventional Death Metal territory, is if they become predictable- no one liked Houdini for simply pulling a rabbit out of his hat, after all!