Of Erthe and Axen – Act I (of 2) – CD // DD
Self Released – August 22nd, 2017
Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr
Born: January 2005
Lake Forest, California USA
“Blessed He With Boils” (2012)
Disc I [Act I]
01. Open the Gates, O Forest Keeper
02. To Lost And Ancient Gardens
03. To Higher Climbs Where Few Might Stand
04. To Souls Distant And Dreaming
05. In Deep And Wooded Forests Of My Youth
06. The Sound Of Hunger Rise
07. The Sound Of A Glinting Blade
08. The Sound Which Has No Name
Listing influences from ALIEN ANT FARM to Opeth, Moonsorrow to Wintersun and even DIMMU BORGIR, this three piece has no compunction about letting you know that this is not your average ‘every-man’ style of music but geared more towards the intelligencia among us and have all of the tools in their possession to show you why. They are self-described as ‘an Epic Black-Metal band that strives to produce the most sophisticated and enthralling compositions’, further citing that Xanthochroid is ‘not for the casual listener, but for the true connoisseur who demands more depth, more detail, and more musicality than what is out there presently.’
From the winding recesses of the mind of Sam Meador, the focus of the band came together through combining the desire to create moving stories with a love for pagan mythology into an ever evolving mythos, the music tells a story of a long power struggle between Thanos and Ereptor, two brothers who are heir to a deceased king fighting over the rightful kingship of the land of Septentria. This release and Part II (due Oct 17 2017) are being touted as a prequel to the two previous releases, further filling in the missing from the tales as woven to this point.
Xanthochroid offers up 8 tracks totaling 43 minutes and each is presented in the full cinematic method this trio has established to be their norm. Even the names of the individual tracks invoke a feeling of more than just another song title, from opener ‘Open The Gates O Forest Keeper’ which immediately popped Opeth in my brain, to ‘In Deep and Wooded Forests of My Youth’ that has all of the flourish of any black/folk song out there with the added panache of vocals that come out of the surrounding mists you can smell as the music flows across and underneath you. Operatic at times, multi-layered harmonies and instrumentation executed with bravado in precision-filled performances.
The last three tracks I would presume to be a three-part tome as each has a specific ‘Sound’ reference, ‘The Sound Of Hunger Rises’, ‘The Sound of a Glinting Blade’ and ‘The Sound Which Has No Name’, all strung together. Flowing one to the next and wrapping this with the darkest track musically, almost sounding as if Dany Filth himself had a hand in the writing.
The anticipation for Part II is already building and with this release, the scope widens even further! If you are not a fan yet, get this as a perfect starting point and if are already ‘aware’, continue the voyage adding this release to your library, share those that do not know and witness the spectacle LIVE if you are granted the chance… keep it LOUD!!