Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, July 14, 2017

Xanthochroid - Of Erthe and Axen, Act 1

Gloriously dorky, surprsiginly intelligent, and a huge artist step forward, Xanthochroid's Of Erthe and Axen, Act 1 is perhaps the bands strongest release yet. An album that pushes far beyond the bands symphonic metal roots, Xanthochroid have added lush soundscapes to their unique musical vision, refining their unique brand of black metal into something truly transcendent and inescapably beautiful. Truly fascinating, this lyrical prequel to their previous material is the first half of a double album that promises to be one for the ages.

The beauty of Erthe and Axen, Act 1 is that it pushes well beyond what I think many of us previously thought the band was capable of. Or rather, they took their musical roots and evolved them into something much more mature. It's really exciting to hear how this band has developed in the last few years and this record paints them as a veritable force, capable of producing deeply emotional black metal on par with their peers on bands like Igorrr and Drudkh. Yet they remain far more accessible than either of those and don't think for a second that ther band has lost their cinematic touch, things just feel more refined now.

So I'll admit, I spent a significant chunk of today totally lost in what Xanthochroid conjured up here. Of Erthe And Axen, Act 1 tells a powerful story and suggests that many of the original plotlines of the band are starting to get wrapped up into something greater. I'm excited to hear how it develops on that end and I also feel like the band can't help to grow from here. This is their most immersive release yet, and to move beyond might very well be their long term destiny. This is the next step, who knows where the band will go from here?

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