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XERATH - I cover
3.90 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2009

Filed under Symphonic Metal


1. Intrenity (3:32)
2. Alterra (2:48)
3. Nocturnum (3:46)
4. Consequences (4:28)
5. Interlude (1:40)
6. False History (3:47)
7. Abiogenesis (5:54)
8. Reform, Part I (3:21)
9. Reform, Part II (4:35)
10. Right to Exist (5:40)

Total Time: 39:31


- Owain Williams / guitars, bass
- Andy Phillips / guitars
- Richard Thomson / vocals
- Michael Pitman / drums

About this release

Candlelight Records
May 25th
The album was mixed in France by Brett Caldas-Lima (Cynic).

Thanks to UMUR, bartosso for the updates

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XERATH I reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

"I" is the debut full-length studio album by UK symphonic extreme metal act Xerath. The album was released through Candlelight Records in May 2009. The band was formed in 2007 and signed to the label in early 2009.

The band play a heavily orchestrated extreme metal style. The extreme metal part of their sound is influenced by the likes of Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad. Especially chugging groove based angular riffing play a big part on the album. Xerath are no one-trick pony though and the music features influences from all sorts of other artists and musical styles too. Sometimes bordering progressive metal. The classically inspired synth/keyboards work is very impressive and are well integrated with the other parts of the music. Lead vocalist Richard Thomson is quite the asset to the band´s sound. He is a very skilled extreme metal vocalist able to sing in quite a few different styles. The rest of the band are very well playing too.

...the most important thing though is that the music is really powerful and punchy. The symphonic element doesn´t take away any heaviness and just gives the music a slight polished edge and not a power stealing one. The sound production definitely deserves a mention too for helping to achieve this.

Despite the obvious influences heard in the music I´d actually call the music on "I" pretty original or at least inventive and adventurous. It´s not easy to combine heavy riffing and symphonic synths/keyboards and come away successful, but Xerath manage to do just that on "I" and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Conor Fynes
'I' - Xerath (7/10)

Held as one of the most acclaimed metal debuts in 2009, Xerath comes onto the scene with a fairly exciting sound. Although the djent, Meshuggah-laden sound that Xerath plays was already well trodden by the time this album was released, Xerath adds something new and exciting to it; an orchestral, symphonic backing. It comes as no surprise then, that Xerath holds a very epic sound to them. Xerath has a very professional sound to them, even this early on, and while I found myself very disappointed by their sophomore, Xerath shows alot of potential with this impressive first album.

When describing their sound, I hear the powerful chugging grooves of bands like Gojira and Meshuggah, along with the thrashy grandeur of Strapping Young Lad. On top of that, there is this orchestral sound that follows the metal instruments throughout this album, adding plenty of depth to the sound, although it rarely ever takes a forefront in Xerath's music. Speaking of the band's metal sound, it is heavy and oftimes technical, with plenty of chuggy riffs to make up the meat of the band's sound. The vocals here are growled and screamed, like a less melodic Joe Duplantier (of Gojira). The riffs and instrumentation are focused more on rhythm than melody, although the orchestral element adds a slightly more melodic and harmonious edge. True enough, there are plenty of riffs here that get my head banging, although overall, I find that there could have been some extra melodies or more memorable moments around the album to grasp onto. As it stands, Xerath's 'I' sounds more or less the same all throughout, with the obvious 'Interlude' exception being composed only of the symphonic element.

As far as orchestral sounds go in metal, much of it does pass me as being a gimmick, attempting to get the depth of a symphony, without the effort of a complex arrangement. I experienced that disappointment on the band's second album 'II', but in retrospect, 'I' actually has some very complimentary orchestral elements. It would be somewhat boring without the metal elements, but there is an authentic sound to the symphonic elements, and they have a great effect for the atmosphere. Taking Xerath's music from the orchestral angle, it sounds alot like the incidental music for some science fiction epic soundtrack.

Xerath has made a very professional sounding album here, and at a perfect length for this sort of music, it never gets boring. I would have liked some more variety and a sense of surprise in music like this, as Xerath never changes lanes from the first song to last. They do however have a great grasp of their style on this album, and clever enough to bring something new to the table, this is a band that stands on their own two feet in the crowded djent community.
I Can't Wait To Hear More From This Band!

The first time I heard the debut album from Xerath, I, not only was I extremely impressed by the music, I was in complete shock that this is a debut album. These musicians have next to no experience in other bands, but everything about this album sounds like it was made by extreme metal veterans. The production is fantastic, the musicians are incredible, the songwriting is solid, and the music is unique and enjoyable. Although, like all debuts, there are a few flaws, judging by the sheer quality of this release, I'm sure Xerath will fix it sooner rather than later.

The sound on I is pretty unique. There is a heavy Meshuggah flavor here, but much more melodic. Another unique thing about Xerath is that all of the songs are pretty heavily orchestrated, something you don't find too often in extreme metal. There is also definite progressive metal and power metal influences, but most of the "progressiveness" lies in the orchestrations. The band often calls themselves "orchestral groove metal", and I think that's a pretty accurate description for the Xerath newcomer. If you like metal with heavy symphonic orchestrations, and can handle extreme metal vocals, this album should be right up your alley.

I is a 10-track, 39:31 album. Even though I often complain about extreme metal albums for being too long (over 40-45 minutes), I honestly wish there were more material here. I'm sure Xerath could've pulled off an hour album with ease. This album is incredibly consistent, and all of the songs are absolutely awesome. My favorites are the opening Intrenity, Reform, Part I, Reform, Part II, Right to Exist and Nocturnum. All of the songs are fantastic, though. You could criticize Xerath for having the whole album played in a similar style with no real variation, but it's not a big problem for me. I love their style, and there's enough tempo and mood variations to keep me interested. Not to mention the tracks are absolutely headbanging-worthy.

As mentioned, the musicians are absolutely fantastic, and it's hard to believe that this is their debut album. Michael Pitman especially deserves a round of applause. That guy's an absolute monster on the drums. I have no complaints with any of the other members, as they are all great. I wish there would have been a bit more vocal variation (e.g. clean vocals), but they're fine the way they are. I do love when the operatic vocals occasionally pop up, though. They really add some great variation.

The production is fantastic. It's clean, heavy, and powerful, while still paying attention to small details in the orchestrations. It was mixed by Brett Caldas-Lima, so the fantastic sound doesn't really come as a surprise.


I is a truly superb debut by Xerath, and one of the best extreme metal debuts to come out in 2009. Despite a few small flaws (lack of variation, the album's too short), this is a fantastic release that I will strongly recommend to anyone even slightly interested in extreme prog metal. A 4 star rating is deserved for this great album.

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No XERATH I reviews posted by members yet.

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  • Fant0mas
  • cennsor
  • Bosh66
  • Immortalis
  • NorseGangsta
  • ToTheSun!
  • aecht
  • Andyman1125
  • spitf1r3
  • Zarahuztra

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