Nocturnal Misantropia

The name Xerión, is from the ancestral Celtic mythology from Galicia. The style is Celtic black metal but not in the sense that Waylander is. Think Berserk instead. This is pure black rage combined lyrically with Galician folklore in the native tongue. According to the label, this is a re-release on cd of the earlier tape version with new cover art and wider distribution.

The A Harpa do Guerreiro demo  is my only reference point to the band, it came to me in a pile of tapes and honestly I had forgotten about it. The logo looked familiar on Nocturnal Misantropia so I riffled through stuff until I emerged with the above-mentioned tape. The drumming has calmed down. The folk elements are greatly diminished. The guitar lines are largely the same. “Os Cantos dos Bardos” would sound overly familiar if placed on this cd. This is a good thing because it is easily the best song on A Harpa do Guerreiro so it is good that that style was elected to be continued.

The drums dominate the slow passages and the drums dominate the mid paced passages. Distorted guitars fill the void and clean guitars provide the leads. Those melodies carry the songs forward. This is simple and straightforward music that maintains your interest mainly through the melodies, though there are many cool borrowed riffs and some new ones. The vocals are a semi-tortured lower register growl. If he wants to improve his voice he should head up to Norway and pay Gaahl an unannounced visit as a salesman. All attempts at melancolia are from the melodic guitar lines. The guitar sound is quite good, as in expected quality. Drums are heavy and full. Vocals stand out nicely, no complaints on sound quality. The vocal lines take up only small parts of each song leaving ample room for instrumentation. The short minimalist interludes need some refinement. The slower passages have more development, not more refined, but more carefully structured. The music is never chaotic and not multi layered so it is easy to absorb its full scope on the first listen.

“No Pazo Derruido da Existencia” seems longer than it is, and that is meant as a positive thing. “Aqueles que nos Deixan Atrás” is slower and the drums have stepped to the background. They fit in nicely when they come back to promenance two thirds the way through the song.

Everything is done right, with no bells and whistles. The instruments are placed well, the music is not original in the slightest, but the soundalike style is done well. All the pieces are in place. The skill level seems to be there, it is worth hearing but more so Xerión is worth watching for on the next album. This is a band in danger of being lost among the multitudes which would be a shame because while it is probably not a diamond in the rough it is definately a nicely cut and polished hunk of coal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
October 13th, 2008


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