Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Album Review: Xerxes - Our Home is a Deathbed

Album Rating: A-
Emotional hardcore, as a genre, has seen its fair share of ups and downs these past five or so years.  Like many scenes of music, stagnation occurs when there really is no incentive for experimentation.  Added to that, there has even been a complete misunderstanding of the term emo, as anything with screamed vocals or emotional lyrics gets jumbled into the catch-all terminology.  But I digress.  Xerxes, as a band, make one care little about silly, misused tags that only distract from the music at hand.  There isn't a lot of progression in the scene?  Who cares.  Xerxes certainly don't, as their latest release Our Home is a Deathbed sees the band making exceptional music on their own terms.

 Our Home is a Deathbed draws huge inspiration from many bands across the hardcore spectrum.  You'll hear Ampere, Saetia and Trash Talk.  As if this weren't enough, the band adds their own little flavor into the mix, resulting in a fresh, original work that pays homage to its roots, rather than ride on coat-tails.  At its core, it is a relatively straightforward hardcore record, with shorter songs that act as abraisive bouts of chaos, with some melody thrown in for good measure.  The eponymous track, as well as "Wake" are textured, calm reprieves from what is an overall very heavy record.  Songs like "Free Fall" and "Tide" display the band's more aggressive side, whilst also showing how skilled they are at songwriting.  Rather than being brash and unrefined, these songs feel lovingly crafted, but still retain an overall sense of bedlam.  It's hardcore the way it shold be: frenzied, but genuine.

Xerxes latest is an absolute marvel; an album that anyone with even the remotest interest in the genre could get behind.  For those hankering for a wonderfully solid hardcore outing, Our Home is a Deathbed should without a doubt be on your radar. 

No Sleep Records

Track List:
1. Wake
2. Sleep
3. Tide/This Place As A Prison
4. Suburban Asphalt
5. Fever Dream
6. Summer Storms/Winter Leaves
7. February
8. Our City As A Floodplain
9. Funeral Home
10. Sleepwalking With You
11. Our Home Is a Deathbed

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