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The Pitch: Connecticut progressive death metal legion Xenosis set out “to create death metal that blurs the lines, that draws from the past and present equally, and to continually evolve as a band from release to release.” Now they follow up their successful Sowing the Seeds of Destruction with album 3, Devour and Birth. FFO: Living Sacrifice, Meshuggah, Exocrine

What I Like: Everything I loved about the previous album is still very much on display. The “groovy basslines, powerful drums, and cascading technical guitar harmonies” press on stronger than ever. Even my past comparisons to Living Sacrifice in both riffs and approach to drumming remain a consistent element of Xenosis‘ sound. They have a similar organic feel, far from the digitized and sometimes souless aesthetic that can come with half baked technical music. But the key difference between this album and the last is an increased focus on intensity. While their sophomore effort delivered a few melodic moments and even some clean singing, Devour and Birth is pure death metal.  Mind you, it’s more Inanimate Existance than Dying Fetus, but it’s still pretty damn heavy.

Critiques: The vocals could use a little more of a kick. They can come off as a bit one-note. Furthermore, a few of these compositions could use more range in general. For example, despite all of the great rhythm changes and killer solos on “Night Hag,” this track feels like it is builds to a climax that never quite delivers. It’s more of a plateau than a peak.

The Verdict: Devour and Birth is another impressive album that lives up to the quality and consistency of its predecessor while delivering a different overall experience. Xenosis continue to serve up fire hooks, impressively technical drumming, and oodles of infectious sci fi groove. Another great album to kick off 2018 on the right foot.

Flight’s Fav’s: Army of Darkness, Concave, Devour and Birth

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Flight of Icarus FlightofIcarus is a father, licensed counselor, and full time metalhead. When he is not working and spending time with family, he is writing furiously to promote underground bands on his own site, Metal Trenches. He believes staunchly in writing only constructive reviews, and his favorite bands include Dark Tranquillity, Enslaved, Poison the Well, and Deftones. You can also buy his ebook, The ABC’s of Black Metal.