Longtime fanatics of the core music realm will acknowledge Australia - the land down under - for having a modest, yet influential underground scene, especially in regards to deathcore and metalcore. From Signal The Firing Squad and The Amity Affliction to Parkway Drive & I Killed The Prom Queen...these subunits of extreme metal continued the growth of core music in their region for well over a decade now. Xenobiotic, hailing from Perth, are one Aussie outfit that have been active in the deathcore community for a little over five years now. Having released a couple of EPs in the past, the band are now presenting their debut full-length album to the world. Without further ado, let's get right into it.
Prometheus serves as a sort of modern and technical effort that borders on the progressive at times, especially with some of the song structuring as well as the track listing. As the name suggests, the release features themes linked to the subgenre of "aliencore" in addition to other lyrical content that deals with issues such as death and mysticism. Clocking in at slightly over 38 minutes in length and consisting of eleven tracks of tech-deathcore, Prometheus was unveiled independently as well as through the Chugcore record label.
First off, I really enjoyed the progression done in the opening track. The droning chugs and background melodies really went together perfectly in that instance and made for a nice build up to the following song. Prometheus is enjoyable fast-paced deathcore when it needs to be, with some added elements here and there. Everything about the guitar riffs is stellar, with lines ranging from tremolo picking to soloing, breakdowns, high notes and more...you'll find it here. Sometimes there'll be a sort of Fallujah or The Faceless-esque vibe, such as in "Prometheus II: Genesis" and the later compositions. In addition, "Prometheus II: Genesis" has some very strong melodies and guitar lines that make for a great listen. The inclusion of two guitars is greatly warranted in the case of this album. Vocals are aggressively energetic and heavy as well.
Pretty much every song also starts out with a rather fast pace, with puts the listener at the edge of their seat at first listen. Tha blast beat drumming patterns coupled with the breakdowns in "The Gift of Fire" make a great team for example; equally so, "Nether II: Hindsight" is another song that is solid, yet distinct in its own right. The sort of balladic deathcore vibe along with the brilliantly placed riffs are worth noting, and the rhythm is one of the better parts of this release. Production quality in general is very well done. Drum samples, performance and tone is best for this calibre. Finally, some of the breakdowns are more memorable than others, with the chugging riffs appearing later in the album seemingly a bit more inspired...and the connection between the first couple of tracks in this album with the last two songs is an interesting concept.
While this album is technical and enjoyable in its own merits due to the things it does well, there are a few critiques to bring up. The musicianship is very competent, but there isn't really anything too new or unique brought to the table. For the most part, this band refines the aliencore-deathcore subgenre and makes it their own. Also, the instrumentals sound good; however, I wish there was a little bit more to the vocal aspect, such as the range or variety. Finally, the two short filler tracks that are included in the album are a bit iffy to me, not sure if I like them or not.
In all, Prometheus is a decently paced modern tech-deathcore release with some interesting themes, powerful instrumentals, solid vocals for what they are, interesting melodic breaks and more. And, while I'm not sure if those factors are enough to make this band stand out from the rest of the countless acts out there, they still sufficed in making me enjoy the album for its running time. I would still recommend Prometheus a listen for any and all longtime and/or newer fans of the deathcore genre.
Fave Tracks: "Prometheus II: Genesis", "Nether II: Hindsight"
For Fans Of: The Faceless, Shadow of Intent, The Zenith Passage
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Review by: Dave Raffy
-Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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