Xenobiotic
Hate Monolith


3.0
good

Review

by FreakMachine USER (41 Reviews)
September 4th, 2022 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Flawlessly performed, yet oh so fomulaic; Xenobiotic refuse to push the medium forward.

Hailing from Perth, Australia, Xenobiotic play a style of technical death metal focusing less on an abundance of sweep-picking in the vein of Brain Drill, instead choosing to blend some complex low-tone riffing with chugging metalcore sections to great effect. Their sound can be seen as a mixture of The Faceless and the intense brand of metalcore their fellow countrymen Parkway Drive were known for early into their own career. Other bands to draw comparisons from are Soreption and Thy Art Is Murder, yet their latest EP 'Hate Monolith' still maintains its own identity.

The things that this band does well are the sheer aggression on display, and the juxtaposition with softer or more atmospheric passages to create some variety. "Nether" opens with a soothing clean guitar that bridges the furious blast beats of the previous song with the mid-paced brutality found after this clean break concludes, whilst not feeling at all out of place. Without this moment of transition, monotony could have set in, but with ideas such as this, the band manage to evade the trappings of repetition found in both the technical death metal genre and also the deathcore sound that rears its head frequently here. This EP is a phenomenally savage and precise assault on the ears, with opening track "Autophagia" throwing down the gauntlet immediately, and it becomes infinitely more digestible in one listen by utilizing these calmer moments.

Considering the meat and potatoes of the EP, Xenobiotic efficiently switch between remarkably tidy blast beats and breakdowns, breaking things up with mid-tempo bludgeoning. There are moments of technical indulgence here, such as the solo in "Pathos," but these are tasteful and do not detract from the overall quality at all. Fans of John Petrucci's work may enjoy the solos, which are both complicated but never overly so in the vein of a band like Origin or Obscura. Individual riffs here are not especially memorable, but instead the record flows well, with the songs being well constructed. The aforementioned "Pathos" is the strongest song on the record, containing some of the rapid down-tuned shifts between strings heard on albums such as "Autotheism" by The Faceless at times, before the band channel their inner Thy Art Is Murder with the breakdowns and the roars of "burn you alive" that bare an uncanny resemblance to that band's "Hate" album.

Where 'Hate Monolith' falls short is in a lack of meaningful invention within a crowded pair of genres it is sandwiched within. "Sever The Trees" might contain all of the ingredients for a solid tech-death track, yet there is a feeling of having heard this before. The individual performances are fine, creating a fusion of hyper technicality in its introduction, and an infectious groove at times. The problem is that this has been heard before so many times, be it from Decapitated, or else from Soreption. The effort is clearly there from each member of the band, but this EP just lacks originality. As a result, it is difficult to recommend anyone to go out of their way to actually listen to this latest outing from Xenobiotic other than if they are an avid fan of technical deathcore. There are much stronger releases out there, with 'Hate' by Thy Art Is Murder being a clear example of a band that influenced this EP and did the sound better. On top of this, half of the tracks here are just live recordings of the band's earlier material, dragging the runtime to almost forty-five minutes without really adding anything. It is a disappointing shame that the band could not put together an EP truly revolutionary, as the talent is obviously there.



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user ratings (17)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
FreakMachine
September 4th 2022


1913 Comments


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWlrSuMEmlY - The stream for the EP itself on Youtube.

I like their first album, and they've got a shitload of talent.

vult
September 5th 2022


2377 Comments


I’ll throw a pos too due to your improvements.

Third paragraph should start “In regards to…” or “Regarding…” - the way it is now isn’t grammatically correct

vult
September 5th 2022


2377 Comments


Yea that summary can be boiled down to “solid but familiar”. A bit messy

Orb
September 5th 2022


9414 Comments


this band

FreakMachine
September 5th 2022


1913 Comments


@ pizza - cheers man
@ vult - thanks for the spot, I'll sort it in a moment
@ Gnocchi and vult, i'll rework the summary shortly. Cheers for the feedback
@artiswar - yeah, I enjoyed their debut but their last album wasn't especially good. This felt too formulaic overall, but was still enjoyable enough. I think a 3 is a pretty solid take on this. And it's getting ratiod for reasons, but it's fine. it got 2 negs within literally 30 seconds of being posted, but it's just numbers on a page and nothing more The fact that some people are giving me constructive feedback says more to me.

Edit - @vult , As regards is a grammatically correct beginning for a paragraph describing something. I'm not gonna say it doesn't read messily as it does and imma rework it in a moment, but it actually is gramattically correct (I can't spell that word for shit).

FreakMachine
September 5th 2022


1913 Comments


"I meant I really liked their 2018 one, my bad. The 2020 one I barely even remember tbh " Yeah Prometheus was really solid.

Minortimbo12
September 5th 2022


1594 Comments


pos

Durrzo
September 5th 2022


3317 Comments


Mordrake was pretty good, but the singles I've heard from this felt very standard. About to give it a full listen. I want more tracks like Saphris, they're most interesting when they take a more melodic approach imo.

Edit: Yeah that was "fine" but I have no desire to revisit.



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