Black Metal / Progressive Metal / Melodic Black Metal • United States
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Xanthochroid is a US progressive black metal band featuring symphonic and atmospheric elements within their music. Active since 2005 their first release came in the form of the demo Iced, In Extremis (2010), following by Incultus (2011). Their debut album, Blessed He with Boils, was released in 2012.

Xanthochroid's music is conceptual, based on a fantastical universe created by the band's mastermind Sam Meador (vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitars), inspiration is drawn from pagan mythology as the band creates their own original mythos. The releases have all built upon this story.

- Biography by adg211288, January 2013.
Thanks to adg211288 for the addition


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XANTHOCHROID albums / top albums

XANTHOCHROID Blessed He with Boils album cover 4.03 | 7 ratings
Blessed He with Boils
Black Metal 2012
XANTHOCHROID Of Erthe and Axen Act I album cover 3.92 | 4 ratings
Of Erthe and Axen Act I
Progressive Metal 2017
XANTHOCHROID Of Erthe and Axen Act II album cover 3.92 | 3 ratings
Of Erthe and Axen Act II
Progressive Metal 2017


XANTHOCHROID Incultus album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Melodic Black Metal 2011

XANTHOCHROID live albums

XANTHOCHROID demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

XANTHOCHROID Iced, In Extremis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Iced, In Extremis
Black Metal 2010

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XANTHOCHROID Of Erthe and Axen Act II

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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This is the second half of Xanthochroid's two-part concept album, the two between them detailing the origin myth of their homebrewed Dungeons & Dragons world (I think). As previously, we're in a blackened progressive metal territory here, with folk touches and an overall concept which seems to combine the storyteller's theatricality of the Decemberists with the fantasy worldbuilding of Immortal. To my ears, it sounds like it has a bit more fire and fury than its predecessor, in keeping with being the exciting climax of the story. On the whole, the two-album set was an ambitious project to undertake, but it has at least paid off in terms of prompting a maturing and development in Xanthochroid's sound.

XANTHOCHROID Of Erthe and Axen Act I

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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This first part of a two-part concept album finds Xanthochroid slipping from the progressive black metal of their debut album to a sort of "blackened progressive metal" sound, with extensive symphonic and folk touches and even more emphasis given to storytelling than the debut. As with Immortal, Xanthochroid's music is focused on exploring the band's made-up fantasy world, but Immortal have never gone as full Decemberists as Xanthrochroid do when it comes to the theatricality of their composition. It might not be absolutely groundbreaking, but it's a more than pleasant prog metal-with-teeth piece which makes me want to listen to the second album to hear the rest of the story.

XANTHOCHROID Blessed He with Boils

Album · 2012 · Black Metal
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Like a sunshine pop band from the slums of Baghdad or an ice cold black metal act from Jamaica, something feels weird about a folk-inspired progressive black metal act hailing from Orange County, California. This style of music has been mostly dominated by the vikings in Scandinavia, but the southern California collective known as Xanthocroid actually has offered one of the genre's best observations with their debut album, 2012's Blessed He With Boils.

Sporting a sound that combines the bombast of Wintersun with the progressiveness of Enslaved and the epic compositions of Emperor, Xanthocroid is very far removed from the likes of Mayhem, Darkthrone, and Burzum, but their music represents a startlingly original approach to black metal. Even with some intense progressive workouts and lengthy detours into acoustic folk territory, Blessed He With Boils feels remarkably coherent thanks to its larger-than-life atmosphere and consistently excellent songwriting. Xanthocroid has made one hell of a statement with their debut, and I will be very curious to hear where these guys go from here. Killer stuff!

XANTHOCHROID Blessed He with Boils

Album · 2012 · Black Metal
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Xanthochroid take the Immortal route as far as their lyrical concept goes, focusing on epic struggles in fantasy kingdoms, but musically they're as far from traditional black metal as you're likely to get. With multiple genre twists and turns - a bit of acoustic strumming here - a brash progressive metal section in the tradition of Enslaved there - they're certainly able to competently present a diverse range of sounds, though I'm not sure the various sections really hang together convincingly. The album's meandering is reminiscent of the band trying out a bunch of sounds to see how they feel rather than anything more interestingly assembled and directed.

XANTHOCHROID Blessed He with Boils

Album · 2012 · Black Metal
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Blessed He With Boils is the debut full-length album by US black metal act Xanthochroid. The album was released in 2012. The band has a couple of prior releases including the 2011 EP Incultus. Blessed He With Boils is a concept album dealing with a fantastical universe created by lead vocalist and keyboardist Sam Meador. It is the “story of a long power struggle between Thanos and Ereptor, two brothers who are heir to a deceased king fighting over the rightful kingship of the land of Septentria.” The album features a guest vocal slot for Rhiis D. Lopez of Ana Kefr.

These days when the term black metal is mentioned you can never truly know what it is you’re going to get. Metal in itself is diverse, but really few of our many sub-genres get as diverse as black metal has. There doesn’t seem be much that can’t be done with it. Xanthochroid firmly belong to the most progressive side of the black metal genre, with mountains of creativity on offer across Blessed He With Boils, and forays into the well known symphonic and atmospheric variants of the genre are easily heard. The vocals also vary a lot, with choirs and clean vocals heard alongside black metal growling, much of which reminds me a lot of former Emperor frontman Ihsahn’s particular style. The music can range from the furiously energetic to the decidedly melancholic. Just check out the entirely non-metal track Winter's End for a prime example of the latter, as Xanthochroid put aside their electric guitars in favour of acoustics. There’s also plenty of flute to be heard. Blessed He With Boils is definitely one of those albums that will deliver surprise after surprise and it captures my attention almost right from the word go after building up the suspense with the introductory track Aquatic Deathgate Existence comes to a close and allows the title track to introduce what Xanthochroid is all about.

The best thing however is that although in a sense the album is a little all over the place with its influences it generally does remain focussed throughout and the sometimes lengthy forays into non-metal territory don’t harm the record at all. No matter what Xanthochroid is doing they get the album to work. I can think of more than a couple of big name acts out of the black metal genre who haven’t ever pulled off a record this ambitious. Many of them only want to stick to the original 1990’s formula laid out by the early acts like Mayhem and Darkthrone, but its acts like Xanthochroid who dare to test the boundaries of that unholy mould that are ultimately the most rewarding, and Blessed He With Boils is easily one of the premium black metal releases of 2012. As a vague reference point it’s kind of like Emperor, only about a thousand times more progressive, and I dare say infinitely more epic. An exceptional grade rating is deserved.


(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org/xanthochroid-blessed-he-with-boils-t2760.html))


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