Barra Xul
In Darkness We Wait

Those of you who enjoyed releases from Canada’s Cephalectomy including their sophomore effort Eclipsing the Dawn and their final release- the free download- An  Epitaph for Tranquility take note. Barra Xul is basically the same band and sound by two of Cephalectomy‘s main guys, founder/guitarist/vocalist  Cory Andrews (also of Select and Dismember) and bassist Scott Armstrong. So then fans of Cephalectomy also know that Barra Xul’s sound is deeply rooted in one main band- early Sylvain Houde era Kataklysm.

Cory Andrews has made no bones that this band is still basically Cephalectomy  but with a different name. It’s complex yet somehow catchy and dare I say melodic grindcore, that the band has themselves termed as ‘melodic horrorgrind’. The Kataklysm hues are readily abundant in the insane dual vocals and the busy, swirling grindcore/death metal, but Barra Xul as they did in Cephalectomy add some killer layers of melody that are very un-grindcore-like.  Even with the horror based themes and lyrics, the whole effort- like 2011’s Beaten to Death debut, or even the latest Gorod release have playful, yet brutal nuances that are unlike anything you’ve heard since Sorcery or The Mystical Gate of Reincarnation.

Heck, The first track “Imitating Infection” opens with a few bars of a classic rock riff, being pretty misleading for a few moments before exploding into a vortex of shredding melodi-grind. Other moments of blissful melodic clarity amid the maelstrom of chaos or blistering stomp include about 2:20 into  “Resonating Darkness”, last minute of “Nyturan Demonta”, and the albums most direct seethingly melodic track “Illusion of Murder”. The albums longest cut, “The Lament Configuration” saves the best for last with a killer, slower melodic squeal and chord progression before peeling out with barrage of time changes and blasts, closing  with a classic Pinhead quote.

 In Darkness We Wait has a crisp and clear production and  is a brisk but engaging and entertaining 35 minutes with no let up or moments of reprieve contained within- it’s either a full on Kataklysm-ic styled blasting vortex or some sort of harmonic, otherworldly squealing salvo that will bring a grin you your ear.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 7th, 2013

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