Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Review: Xerión – Drou

Label: Nigra Mors

Date: December 1st, 2022

Well, as a big fan of history and ethnology this Xerión EP was something I must listen to. To sing in Galician language about ancient folklore and cults it’s something pretty unique because I don’t see many bands singing about old forgotten languages. Thanks to them I even remembered what Galicia was. There were two Galicias. One doesn’t exist anymore and this one Xerión is singing about is, let’s call it, southern one. That region is settled in the part of Atlantic Europe. It is surrounded by the Portugal, Spain and Atlantic Ocean. It is actually a small territory with a huge history. In the prehistoric ages, first men were living there, after them Celts, Romans, Visigoths and Ottomans… Ruled by many kings, it is still there today, proudly waiting for some new history to be written. Mostly settled by Celts in early middle age who had huge effect and that’s the main subject Xerión is singing about. Extremely important territory politically and economically, but also interesting culturally.

Now the part about music. As we know, Xerión has six albums and many more Eps, splits and demos. Even one split single with Serbian black metal band Kolac in 2013. Kolac was presented with the song “Gde su sada crne vrane” (“Where are now the black crows”) and Xerión with the song “O Tumulo dos Corvos”. They also had several gigs together, so their work is pretty familiar to us as a magazine and fans. This time the EP consists of four songs. Its name is “Drou”… It’s interesting, short and great entrance to the new album we are hoping for.

The EP starts with one song played on an organ. The most beautiful melody named “Drou” and it really took my heart because it’s a unique first song and nothing like what’s coming next. The next one is that black metal we expected with the roughest song technic in the world. Actually there is no singing. It sounds more like some narrative praying song to the gods. In the background, keyboards actually made the scariest doom effect next to the organ. Without those instruments this won’t be the same band. One unexpected break, right before the end of the song, proved me that.

The entire EP actually has really cold, dark and doomy atmosphere. You can almost feel like you are walking somewhere in the cold woods of Galician kingdom. I love it! It’s totally black metal(ish).

The third song is the slowest on the EP and has a fading out effect.

Two of four songs have lyrics. Those are songs “Demos do Kaos” and “Deusas da noite”. Lyrics are in old Galician and they are based on the local mythology and folklore. This is something really interesting to hear because I personally don’t know much about this language. It sounds like they are summoning demons and gods on some gathering. Maybe that’s actually necessary because of all that is happening on this planet lately. To see who’s fault is it. Maybe it will be a nice thing to sing about it in Galician. Xerión crew, think of that and thank me later.

So, musically, this EP and the band generally can’t fit totally in just black metal. It has some characteristics of doom / symphonic metal with a little touch of black metal. One very dark material to listen and write about and I had a pleasure to write something about this.

The cover art is beautiful and simple. Not so common thing in metal world. It says nothing but actually hiding dark secrets of old Galician world.