Xanthos – Xanthos

The fact that this band is unsigned is totally incomprehensible to me. Judging by this debut self-titled EP, Xanthos should have been signed somewhere around the second trimester of their oldest member. If a band like this can put out this sort of material as their debut, they’re made. No questions asked. This EP is so well-written, so well-played, so well-produced, so GOOD in general that I can’t imagine Xanthos not succeeding.

The music here is folky, highly melodic black metal. And when I say highly melodic, I mean it; Xanthos reminds me of Brazilians Zargof, with their constant outpourings of overflowing atmosphere and melody. Each of the three tracks here are sublimely constructed; every riff is relevant, every item is in exactly the right place. One could almost say that there’s an element of power metal here; while the melodic systems aren’t as impossibly overblown, the general sound is quite reflective of that genre. But there are influences from everything here: power, thrash, black, folk, even some bits of new wave or 80’s rock(!). And yet Xanthos is able to bring all these disparate elements together to create something beautiful and compelling. Everything is fast, bright and majestic; you can’t really say this is ‘dark’ music, and, much like Zargof again, they have an inherent spirit and zest to their compositions which I find highly appealing.

Man, this really is unbelievably good. From the rapacious plunge of joy in ‘Relinquished Faith’ to the more introspective and folky ‘A Hero’s Demise’, every moment of this EP is a delight to hear. I cannot stress enough just how fantastic a release this is, and to think that the band only formed last year! How many bands are able to blend a rolling viking chant perfectly with accompanying lead and rhythm guitars before swiftly bleeding into a synth passage like Xanthos does on ‘A Hero’s Demise’? Very few, and nearly none at such an early stage of their career. How are they so GOOD!?

Each instrument is played beautifully and effectively. Of particular note are the fantastic keyboards of Kevin Danaher, who plays with unbelievable speed and melodic lucidity, perfectly accompanying the rest of the band. Vocals, much like Zargof, a black metal snarl of exquisite tone and timbre, complimenting the constantly plunging and rising guitar and drum interplay fabulously. Production is beautifully clear, bending and shifting to give emphasis to different instruments at appropriate moments but without ever leaving one behind. This EP is truly a pleasure to the ears on every level.

There’s no questioning: this is an EP that every metalhead MUST acquire as soon as possible. These three songs represent one of the most stunning beginnings I’ve ever heard from a heavy metal band, and everyone reading this should see that they hear this as soon as possible. An early, and hopefully only the first of many, masterpiece on the part of Xanthos.

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~ by noktorn on March 26, 2007.

2 Responses to “Xanthos – Xanthos”

  1. Hell yeah! This band kicks ass. The fact that crappy bands like Cannibal Corpse can get a record deal, Xanthos should have deals THROWN at them. Keep your eyes on these guys, they’re the future of metal. If you dont have thier EP, go bye it NOWWWWW!!! If you dont you will not be forgiven!

  2. *buy it now, dont pass it, BUY IT
    thats what i meant…..
    anyway…XANTHOS RULES!!!!!

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