Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Album Review: Xeno - Atlas Construct

Progressive death metal is often a risky venture. Some progressive death metal bands just get it right, and craft simply beautiful, thought-provoking music that harnesses both aggression and emotion, while some sound a little too self-indulgent, and just seem to miss the point. Fortunately, Atlas Construct, the debut album from Dutch upstarts Xeno, has its boots firmly planted in the former.  The band has built a hugely emotive piece of music that is every bit as soothing as it is aggressive.

The first three tracks, if not counting the opening piece titled "Intro," "Mundicide," "Gift" and "Malum" are best listened to together. They feel like a sonata, taking you on a journey from soothing atmospherics to punishing death metal to all out shred and back again. Atlas Construct’s centrepieces, "Construct Part I: Pillars of Perdition" and "Construct Part II: Columns of Creation," are possibly the heaviest and softest songs on the record. Trading some of the truly soft and melancholic moments for a heavier dose of blast beats and shred, these two are guaranteed to be a live favourites. 

If you are looking for something entirely soothing and classical then this not for you. If you are looking for gruesome death metal à la Deicide, this is not for you. However, if what you seek is something intelligent and truly emotive, then Atlas Construct absolutely is for you. The softer passages are truly beautiful, the heavy parts absolutely slay, and Xeno have a real knack for transitioning seamlessly between the two.

Get yourself a copy of Atlas Construct from Bandcamp, and stay in touch with Xeno via Facebook.

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