How this band started is a pretty cool story actually and once you know where they come from, everything will explain itself and fall into place. The Debut EP from metallers, Xaon, is a revitalizing and fresh injection into the metal scene. Set for an October 16 release date, the EP combines lots of aggression and melodeath into one quick burst of climactic chaos. Titled, Face of Balaam, the EP also features a big name in the death metal scene, Björn Strid, vocalist of Swedish metal outfit, Soilwork makes a bold appearance on the album. Drawing influence from many names including Soilwork, Type O Negative, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and more, you get the picture (hopefully), as to what the masses should expect. Xaon is currently fronted by Vinc’ (Music and Drums, rhythmic and soloist guitars for the lives), Flo (Concept and Lyrics, bass guitars and backing vocals live) Rob (Lead Vocals on “Face of Balaam” opus and live appearances).
How We Became Ephemeral Birds launches the album in a very modern way. A dark landscape is painted before transforming into a heavy conglomerate of down-tuned riffs, plentiful pounding drums and even some faint symphonics in the background to shake things up. A strong track to choose as the opener, you won’t be disappointed. Discrowned features Bjorn of Soilwork and is a highly recommended track. One of the best ones hands down, horns up, the speed gauge goes higher as the utilization of blast beats and the melodic guitarwork graciously place this track in true melodeath form. Make sure to stick around for the killer solo later on. The Soulcleaner is also one of the recommended tracks. For the headbangers out there, this one is surely a can’t miss and a must live. The use of growls and clear clean vocals make this a rare gem meanwhile progressive elements make an unprecedented appearance and eventually there is a brief use of stringed instruments like violins and acoustics.
Face of Balaam is a must listen to album for those who are fans of the melodic death metal scene, especially from Europe and especially for fans of death metal in general. As mentioned this EP is a fresh injection to the scene in which many bands are beginning to saturate the genre thus the fusion of modern metal elements puts the EP into another perspective. For being a self-released EP, the production of the album sounds very professional and clean and crisp. While the EP is pretty decent, there is still plenty of time to edit parts of the EP if the band feels they need to for some reason later down the near road. Otherwise, Xaon, are an up and coming name in the metal world and should be under your radar. Stay Metal \m/
Face of Balaan: 8.5/10
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