Realm of Vile Lamentations

Feb. 2, 2016


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Founding vocalist/guitarist Xantam the Beholder gives some background on the album:

"XANTAM started when I became dissatisfied with only playing drums. I'm originally a drummer, and I played drums in a death metal band called Abscission for eight years. Two years ago, I wanted to expand from not only writing one aspect of a band's material, but to writing and creating an entire creation of my own. At that point, I started to pick up playing guitar and keyboards. A few months after I started playing guitar, I wrote my first song, 'Realm of Vile Lamentations.' At that point, I knew this was something I wanted to continue.

I came up with a name and logo, and started to write more material. Everything I have written has been completely made from the heart and ear. I know no theory or other bands' songs on guitar or keyboards. I just picked them up and started messing around with, what I thought, sounded good. I created three songs that made up the LifeDeathBeyond demo. The lyrics deal with the dark side of the human mind, existence, anti-religion, and fictional stories. I have always been inspired by bands like Zyklon, Molested, The Chasm, Damnation, Azarath, Morbid Angel, and Limbonic Art"

He may have been dissatisfied with playing the drums alone, but damned if they aren't one of the many highlights of this demo.  These beats are cataclysmic, and when met wtih the raw production, they take on a life of their own.  I can't say enough about how impressed I was with Malthusian's first demo, and in many ways Xantam shares the sound:  cavernous atmosphere, layering of black howls and death growls, shrill lines of tremolo, and of course impressive work on the kit.  All of this adds up to an incredible fusion of BM with atmospheric death.

If there is a difference between the two groups (and there is), it's that the overall sound seems to sway a bit further towards the death metal spectrum.  The monstrous growls take command over the other elements, though this is offset nicely by the disarming ambient portions.  I would also ventrue that the styles of guitar melodies seem to reference a bit of folk and viking aesthetic as opposed to more Portal-influenced spiraling endlessly into the abyss.  Whatever conclusions of your own that you draw, I am very much intrigued to hear what Xantam does next.

Fortunately, it won't be long.  Blood Harvest will release the band's debut LP, Astral Dominion, on vinyl, CD, and digital this summer (2016).  Prepare yourself.