Appropriately labeling themselves as “cinematic black metal” is Xanthochroid and on their upcoming and newest release Of Erthe And Axen: Act I they take that label to new heights. Through the forty-three minute run time of Act I, you are provided with wondrous and captivating atmospheres that grab your attention right away never to let you go. Throughout this release, Xanthochroid provide you with wondrous, cinematic and provoking stories in which you become wrapped up in and involved in immediately.
Xanthochroid does a great job of gifting you with a piece of work that is cohesive, gripping and wholly enveloping. Each composition that appears on Act I is something to behold and each composition plays right in to the next providing you with a seamless and very well told story. There is not a track within this record that is out of place and there certainly isn’t one that is just filler as each and every track has a purpose and each track progresses Xanthochroid’s story very well. Each of the eight tracks on this release are well executed and performed providing you with a unique and entirely captivating listen.
Not only does Xanthochroid do a great job in providing you with a captivating story, but they do a great job of balancing their black metal elements with their wonderful cinematic elements as well. As a whole, Act I is harsh yet delicate, bombastic yet melodic and Xanthochroid does as great job of balancing every element creating a whole and full bodied sound that is entirely enjoyable to listen to. Throughout each track you are provided with the harsh and punishing tones of black metal, but you are also provided with melodic acoustic elements that are supplemented by non-traditional heavy metal instruments as well. Keyboards and flutes among other non-traditional metal instruments are used to create a wondrous and bewitching atmosphere that makes you feel as though you are a part of their story.
On top of the very well executed instrumentation are the hypnotic dual male and female vocals. The clean sung parts throughout Act I are very well done and the vocals are so angelic and mesmerizing it is hard not to get wrapped up in them all together. As a whole, there is just no denying Act I and all of its grandeur. This release certainly is an epic piece, one that takes you on a journey and provides you with a story that is enthralling and well spun. “Cinematic black metal” is a spot on description, and Xanthochroid take that definition to new heights it seems with Act I.
At the end of Act I it makes you long for Act II to appear from the fog covered woods, but while we wait for the conclusion we have this epic piece of metal to enjoy and covet. Overall, Act I is a great record, and if atmospheric and cinematic metal is what you are looking for, then you don’t have to look much further than this record.
Of Erthe And Axen: Act I will be released August 22, 2017.
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