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Label: Iron Shield Records

Date: June 25th, 2021

Italy does not deliver, once again. How come? It’s a country with unbelievable history, likely the richest when it comes to art, even swarming with famous musicians and composers. Tons of metal bands pop-up whichever way you look, up and down the boot. But it takes listening to twenty bands to find one that kills. Seriously, what am I missing? All the ingredients are there, but the country manages to disappoint me time and time again.

Considering the heroes of this review, I have some sort of an answer. Xenos is simply too quick to record and release. After a couple of spins, this is an impression I have. The trio was formed at the end of 2018 and they already have two full length albums under its belt.

Okay, Italy was pretty much shut down the whole last year, so the guys had more than enough time on their hands to compose. However, it sounds to me they rushed the process and left no time for their tracks to mature into thought-through compositions.

In other words, “The Dawn of Ares” is a collection of intriguing pieces. Parts that leave room for speculation about what could have been. The nine songs that comprise the album offer a good number of driving moments that could indulge the thrashing brains but seem as though they were left unpolished. Not production-wise, as the record is as clean as it should be, but the creative side of the album needed time to boil into a tasty dish for the connoisseurs.

Meanwhile, I would disagree with the general description of this record as an old school thrash metal one. It does hold a good number of ingredients to make you swerve that way, but it is also very technical. Bordering on progressive thrash metal even. As I understand the situation, Mr. Giuseppe Taormina, the mastermind behind Xenos, comes from a technical thrash background. He may have tried to lay low on these elements with this band, but it is still heavily leaning on his virtuoso side. I guess one cannot just turn off a side of one’s self.

Be that as it may, I must stick to what I’ve written above. Technical, progressive or simply thrashing, “The Dawn of Ares” displays a band that has a lot to offer, but needs to take its time to properly digest the songs before releasing them.

Many more catchy tunes will emerge, the songs will be easier to remember and pack a heavier punch in the end. Trimming the unnecessary fillers in the process. Only then will Xenos have what they want.


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