XECSNOIN - ENGRAVED

review - 07.07.2009 03:18

The long awaited second album from the melodic death metal band.

About three and a half years have passed since XECSNOIN's first album, three and a half years where the band's future hung in the balance. Last year, they redefined themselves with the noteworthy single THIRSTY and a few samples from the new album, creating high expectations. The production lasted about a year, and it seems the band was quite confident that less than half an hour of quality music would be enough to convince the critics.

ENGRAVED is a classic metal opener. Very heavy and without senseless music elements, it prepares the listener for what is still to come. Since it is fairly slow, it sounds exactly like what you'd hear at the beginning of a concert when the band enters the stage. Following it is MY LAST DREAM, a faster song. The musicians put some more fire into their metal. Until the vocalist starts the melodic refrain, the guitarists have played more metal than some top “pseudo metal” bands have played in their whole lives. Directly after the refrain, a great guitar solo starts, and the always present drums get more audible.

WINGS OF THE SUN sounds at first like it’s going to be another fast metal song. Some solid guitar work and even more hard drumming reminds of the famous Children of Bodom, although in this case many thrash elements appear in the composition. The listener cannot help but headbang when the drums reach their highest point. At lives, the song would give the audience hell. In contrast, SPIDER starts quietly and very old school. The main idea in this song is that the guitars leave the vocalist and the drummer alone during the verses, but join in when these end. This way the talent of the singer is more notable, and the audience gets some time to take breath. The refrain is also quite nice. Although the song is a little bit slow, there’s still enough rhythm in it to get the crowd headbanging.

The next song, MIRROR IN ME, has some resemblances to the most recent style of Slipknot. The composition itself is very Western oriented and would please European and American metal fans. The biggest plus is the freedom that was given to the guitarists. The two guitarists rule half of the song with their almost solos. The end of the song offers some growls, so nobody should be disappointed.

The title BUTTERFLY EFFECT already says a lot about the song. According to the chaos theory, small divergences can completely change a whole system. These small divergences are given in the first minute of the song. First you hear almost nothing, then you have over a half minute intro. After that, some typical metal style melody starts, only to end immediately and leave the listener alone with the melancholic aria of the vocalist. The verses remind of Break the Cycle by Staind - and coincidentally, that song was actually used for the trailer of the movie “The Butterfly Effect.” BUTTERFLY EFFECT is probably the best song on the album as it has everything: slow and fast parts, melancholy and metal. With this song, the band proves themselves to be far more than just another metal band.

CAPTURED has the misfortune to be set after the great BUTTERFLY EFFECT. There's no way it can live up to the previous song, although like MY LAST DREAM, it is exactly the kind of song that Western metalheads are looking for: high tempo, continuing double bass passages and booming guitars. The composition even has a slight tendency towards punk, especially the running time.

You don’t need much skill to play metal, but to keep up with XECSNOIN's style you need a lot of it. The only negative point is the short running time. At a little over 25 minutes, it skimps a little on quantity, so maybe two or three songs more would’ve been better. Nevertheless, the 25 minutes you get are enough to make you happy.

Fans in the United States are currently the only ones who may get the original CD without having to contact some expensive shopping service to buy it through. Under CD Baby you can also find their single THIRSTY.
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