Xaemora: Kingdom Venom I

Cover I’ll let you guess where Xaemora are from if you don’t know already. If you guessed Norway or Sweden you would be one hundred percent wrong. As a matter of fact Xaemora are from Illinois, and this Illinois band plays symphonic black metal. Kingdom Venom I is their very first full length that shows off six songs that reach about twenty-five minutes. Being symphonic Xaemora use synths of course they create a cold, dark and very harsh atmosphere.

From the beginning you understand that the music is poisonous. It writhes and twists into darker and darker shapes as the album goes along. The combination of the keyboards with the ever furious style of play makes for a maddening album. Xaemora shows two faces with their music. The show that they can be melodic and they also show that they can crush you in the palm of their hand with their intensity.

The majority of the more melodious moments come because of the keyboards. Not saying that the rest of the instrumentation is not melodious, but the rest of the music is melodious in its own darkened way. Xaemora show how symphonic black metal should be done. They keep all of their furious intensity while playing in a more melodic fashion. One element does not take the other over, there is no battle for supremacy between the symphonic bits and the black metal bits. Both elements work as a whole to create a dark and abyssal sound.

From the very first couple seconds of opener Gadara you soon realize that you’ve become engulfed in darkened flames and trapped in a room of utter darkness and madness. And over the course of the next twenty-five minutes you get more of the same. Xaemora make sure you are never able to escape the pitch black abyss with their unique take on symphonic black metal.Kingdom Venom I takes you deep into a dark state of mind. All six songs are unrelenting in their attack.

Each riff emits blackened hatred, while the sonic drum attack pummels your skull, the symphonic elements make you dive head first into a darkness in which you never knew existed as the vocals shriek they shred your ear drums. The music is chaotic and intense every step of the way and bores itself deep inside of your brain like a demonic worm. Not only is the music destructive, but it is also catchy. The riffs supplied are coupled by shredding guitar solos that are equal parts powerful and memorable. Along with the poisonous riffs comes the intense blasting drums force feeding you your daily dose of chaos. Mixed in with the smoldering guitars and drums are the almost soothing keyboards which provide a little bit of comfort within music that is driven to destroy. But that comfort only lasts for a brief second as yet again you are succumbed to the darkness.

Xaemora are very melodious when they need to be but they are also fiery and skull bashing when need be as well. Having that balance and executing it well gives Xaemora more room to experiment with their sound and to experiment further with the symphonic elements. Even when the more melodious parts do arise that doesn’t necessarily mean you get a break from being blasted by hell fire however. The six tracks presented rip and tear and are a complete sonic assault.

With the shrieking vocals, malicious riffs, violent drums, atmospheric keyboards and just an overall darkness, Xaemora bring the whole package. They mix both atmosphere with intensity well creating a dark biting sound. Kingdom Venom I is a great debut as it supplies everything you like about symphonic black metal and more.

Kingdom Venom I is out now through Merdumgiriz.

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