Xenobiotic

Cognitive – Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction Review

Cognitive – Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction Review

“People around here know me as not being too into the more extreme quarters of the metal gallery. Hell, when I started writing, I’d barely prodded beyond the confines of Swedish death metal like Bloodbath and Vicious Art. Anaal Nathrakh was the exception to the rule, but even there I was more drawn to the melodic elements of their work, such as those showcased on Hell Is Empty… and deathcore never even appeared on my radar until I was trampled by Xenobiotic. Since crawling into an empty cubicle at AMG offices (while ignoring all the blood) some of the more unseemly viscera have begun to seep into the hollows of my skull. It’s a slow and sporadic process, and though my experience with tech death and deathcore remains scant, it’s enough to lash together a somewhat cohesive frame against which to place techdeathcore ensemble Cognitive.” Evil thoughts, fair reviews.

Inhuman Architects – Paradoxus Review

Inhuman Architects – Paradoxus Review

“You know when you’re struggling to write a meaningful introduction? When you can’t generate anything amusing out of a band’s name (Inhuman Architects) or anything insightful from their album title (Paradoxus), or anything significant from their home country which features a few bands of note but isn’t noted for its metal pedigree (Portugal)? When the artwork is the generic pink/purple/blue collage of death metal’s derivative genres? Or even comment on the fact that such album is their debut release, save for a solitary single? And you don’t even feel excited enough to tease (whether misleadingly or… leadingly?) that there’s something unique or exciting to describe? Yeah. I hate when that happens.” Brutalists.

GardensTale’s Top Ten(ish) Album Art of 2020

GardensTale’s Top Ten(ish) Album Art of 2020

“We spend every single day of the year on this blog talking about music. The highs, the lows, the marshes of the meh. Occasionally, we give a nod to an especially beautiful cover (or an especially heinous one) to buff our word count for the article, but it’s barely a condiment on the edge of the buffet plate, stacked with pretentious slop, that we throw casually in front of the voracious readership. But this one time a year, I don’t have to talk about the music at all.” Gardens variety galleries.

Cult of Lilith – Mara

Cult of Lilith – Mara

Cult of Lilith is one of those bands that are in the middle of what journalists and label blurb writers might call a ‘meteoric rise.’ Hailing from Iceland, the quintet has only one EP and no demos to their name since their inception in 2015. Yet Mara, their debut full-length, is already coming out through Metal Blade, one of the biggest labels in the business. On top of that, none other than semi-classical master painter and annual album art top 10 contestant Eliran Kantor delivered the ever excellent cover, and producer Dave Otero has such names as Cattle Decapitation, Archspire and Cephalic Carnage on his resume.” Big buzz, big expectations.

Viscera – Obsidian Review

Viscera – Obsidian Review

“In Hollywood, there’s a phenomenon called ‘twin films.’ Sometimes movies released around the same time have an uncannily similar plot, even though they’ve been in production around the same time and couldn’t have copied one another. A few well-known examples include Armageddon and Deep Impact, Antz and A Bug’s Life, and The Prestige and The Illusionist. Now, considering the frequency of release and inherent similarities, this isn’t really a thing in metal, but it still gave me pause when I noticed I was about to go through the second Unique Leader techy deathcore release with wav format tracks in just a handful of weeks.” Guts check.

Xenobiotic – Mordrake Review

Xenobiotic – Mordrake Review

“Recently a new rule was established in the AMG offices: no more claiming promos more than a month out. Giving everyone equal opportunity makes for more entertaining gladiatorial combat in the Skull Pit, you see. But now it’s become a game for the clever, so I decided to scout the waters ahead in case I needed to be ready to pounce. When I came across a promo by Australian prog-tech-deathcore outfit Xenobiotic, stared at the gorgeous Lewandowski cover and listened to its advance track, I actually set an alarm for the day I could lay claim to it, before Kronos or Ferrous could get their claws into my precious. Because if the rest of Mordrake was as good as the single I sampled, I knew we were dealing with potential Album of the Year material.” Throw it into the fire!