The Pitch: Sliptrick Records presents some stellar progressive metal/symphonic black metal from Swiss group Xaon. FFO: Opeth, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Dimmu Borgir
What I Like: Way to go, guys. I haven't been covering many Sliptrick releases in review, but Xaon knocked it out of the park with The Drift. This album is the perfect mix of traditional prog metal and symphonic BM of truly epic proportions. The simulated orchestral arrangements are 'uge in the Trump sense of the word. In fact, I would venture to say that these are some of the most dramatic compositions I have heard this year. On top of that, the progressive segments take things to an even higher level with performances that rival Akerfeldt, Ihsahn, and ICS Vortex rolled into one. The shifts into harsh BM vocals are none too shabby either. The way the cadences align with the technical-yet-organic drumming (Jordan Kiefer) is nothing short of studio magic. I'm especially fond of the climax-building drum solo towards the end of "Zarathustra." Finally, pacing and dynamics are on freakin' point with plenty of ethereal rock guitar solos and piano interludes to keep the album flowing smooth like freshly churned butter.
Critiques: This album is near flawless. I only deducted points for familiarity, never for performance. Maybe ditch the (brief) spoken word portions.
The Verdict: An incredibly consistent work that delivers a potent set of tracks ready for an enormous stadium near you. Move over Borgir, you've got some real competetion coming your way. Pick it up through Sliptrick and Amazon right now.
Flight's Fav's: Terra Incognita, Khadath Al Khold, Frozen Shroud