XENOFANES - PISSING IN THE HOLY GRAIL
(Iron Shield Records)
Review by Sloof
I had serious doubts when I received this album as it seems like a gimmick, a kind of ‘how far can we go’ attitude, so my expectations were rather low. The album title ‘Pissing In The Holy Grail’ doesn’t reflect that people can take the band on a serious level. They seem to like to incite people, to cross the borders of decent behavior. All in all, I must revise my opinion, as Xenofanes is better than expected, and the four members of the band managed to attract my attention. A little Nasty Savage influence with a very brutal musical attack, are the ingredients that Xenofanes offers.
The members of the band had a severe struggle to come to this result, as the band was found in 1993, but after three years, hey decided to put the band to rest. In 2009, some members teamed up and the band reformed again to hail the good old days. Finally in July 2011, they entered the studio and recorded 10 tracks without any drummer. Studio owner Henke Borg was kind enough to play drums on two chosen tracks (‘Ancient Predator’ and ‘Speed Dating Antichrist’), but nowadays, they have a complete lineup with Mange Edqvist behind the skins.
The band is anxious to spread their wings and let the people hear what Xenofanes is all about anno 2015. Swedish Death ‘n Thrash Metal is their musical style and direction, but I would like to add ‘old school vibe’ as well! The songs on this album need a few spins, as it’s all very dark, energetic and old school, so don’t expect musical highlights, but pay more attention to the raw sound, the underground style that the material evokes and the fun that the members had while creating and recording the material.
There are a lot of early Slayer elements in the songs and the vibe that this band is creating is a tribute to the good old days. The title track of this album takes 10 minutes and that’s a bit too long, as songs with this duration need to offer limitless variations. It all takes a bit too much time to get to the acceleration speed, so I guess that everything could be done in 6 minutes as well. The saying ‘less is more’ fits in general to this band. All this is no necessary negative comment, it’s only detailed information, as I still have respect for the material that Xenofanes offers.
This band is a perfect example that the underground still contains great bands, but it’s all too rough, too harsh in this way. All in all, I was surprised, and after some time, I was completely immersed in the style of Xenofanes. This is over the top like Wehrmacht, Crumbsuckers, S.O.D. and Nuclear Assault use to bring, and they stood the test. They are brutal and mean, but need to focus on variety and an interesting approach on future recordings. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Xenofanes/164368396989582?sk=wall
My rating: 77 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish