Label: Nigra Mors Productions / Azermedoth Records
Date: May 17th, 2021
Before I write anything about the new Xerión EP, let me first congratulate this duo on turning twenty years old. Not a small achievement for an independent, underground black metal band. Though there’s a good number of bands that could also be proud of a couple of decades on the scene, Xerión has always kept themselves under the radar, without much help from well-established labels. With a healthy DIY attitude, they keep going, as productive as a band can be, with several releases each year. At the same time, keeping things quite fresh, just so you don’t have to worry about them falling into any sort of repetitive patterns.
I’ve written extensively about this band before and I will say it again. Just when you think there can be no more surprises coming from their camp, you get one more. And here’s another one, called “Lamento luminescente”.
Naturally, with everything Xerión does, you will hear their roots. Those do not, and likely will never, change. It’s those primordial sounds of rough black metal that embellish every next release by those Galician musicians. You sure get this feel of Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Bathory and other first wave heroes. Coupled with a touch of southern hell we are used to coming from the warm states such as Spain, Greece or even Mexico or Brazil.
On the other hand, this type of sound has had its day long ago and is nowadays most often misused and lacks any sort of personal touch. And that’s exactly where Xerión makes their mark. And not only because of the Galician language, which is so unusual on the black metal scene. Or the subtle folklore influences the band insists upon.
For this particular release, Xerión has prepared an homage to a more second wave black metal. Especially the one that we’re used to call symphonic. Though the keyboard input has always been present in the band’s work, I get the feeling they are much more up front this time. They’ve been given a lot of room and are therefore richer and play a much bigger role in the overall soundscape.
Another thing are the melodic leads which are also pushed further this time. That way, Xerión manages to leave the background to their origins and go above the expectations. With the already recognizable solemn atmosphere of grandeur, dedicated to the amazing landscapes of Galicia.
The presence of an “outsider” behind the drums, Lord Marganor of old Mexican band Ereshkigal, puts yet another new colour on an already colourful painting. As much as the aggression necessary for such an instrument would allow.
Now, Xerión is well-kept under the radar of the “elite”. There are literally thousands of bands being put on global pedestals with no apparent reason. All the while, this Galician duo shines from the utter darkness. So please, do yourselves a favour and look for any of their releases. You will not miss any of the familiar aspects of the genre, but you will come across a genuinely creative force that draws light to what this music can turn out to be.