EP REVIEW: Hate Monolith – Xenobiotic

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XENOBIOTIC know how to deal with the pressure of critical acclaim. Since their debut album Prometheus dropped the boys have been held in high regard throughout the progressive death metal scene, and when they dropped their sophomore effort Mordrake they solidified their position as a noteworthy modern metal act. However, they weren’t done there and have dipped into their seemingly endless well of ideas to create another technically astounding, crushingly heavy release in the form of Hate Monolith – a five track, insanely brutal extended play that sees the band push their already impressive songwriting abilities to another level entirely.

From the opening 20 seconds of Autophagia you get a sense of what XENOBIOTIC are all about on this release: a cavalcade of punishingly frantic drumming, complex riffs and schizophrenic vocals that shift between banshee-high screams and guttural growls at a moment’s notice. The atmospherics are subtly fed into the overall sound of the music and as a result they don’t water down the chaotic nature of the tracks, rather tie them together and another dimension which makes everything feel grander as a result.

The following track The Wretched Strive continues to viciously beat you over the head with surgically precise, constantly shifting blasts that wouldn’t feel out of place on any of the classic FEAR FACTORY releases. The fact that the band manage to create such cataclysmically heavy technical metal and still create a groove that flows throughout is a testament to the level of songwriting skill possessed by the Aussie contingent.

The song Nether has to be considered the highlight of the whole EP. This is the band branching out further into their progressive fancies and shows that they are capable of constructing a song that is as artistically far-reaching as it is vicious. The night and day difference between the haunting, clean guitar introduction and the ferocious onslaught of technical death metal that precedes it serves as a welcome change of pace and breaks things up nicely.

The final track of the album Sever The Ties feels like the band at their most primal, leaning heavily into their death metal influences. The song is a driving, energetic slab of fret burning death metal that is filled to the brim with fire and brimstone. The band use just enough melody in the lead guitar work to make it palatable amongst the sonic battery and beat your ear drums to death with the kind of musical warfare that is sure to turn venues around the world into swirling masses of bodies.

XENOBIOTIC have crafted an EP here that drives their mission statement forward; to create slabs of well-crafted death metal and add layers of atmospherics and virtuoso instrumentals to lure people in from all different corners of the metal landscape. If this is the kind of musical ground they can cover over the course of five tracks then imagine what they will be able to accomplish when they drop their third full-length. Hopefully it’s not in the too distant future.

Rating: 8/10

Hate Monolith - Xenobiotic

Hate Monolith is out now via Unique Leader Records.

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The post EP REVIEW: Hate Monolith – Xenobiotic appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

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