Black Metal / Non-Metal / Melodic Black Metal / Progressive Metal • United States
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Xanthochroid is a US progressive black metal band from Lake Forest in California, formed in 2005.

The band features 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



- Updated by Bosh66, April 2020 –
Thanks to adg211288 for the addition and Bosh66 for the updates


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XANTHOCHROID albums / top albums

XANTHOCHROID Blessed He With Boils album cover 4.04 | 9 ratings
Blessed He With Boils
Black Metal 2012
XANTHOCHROID Of Erthe And Axen Act I album cover 3.87 | 6 ratings
Of Erthe And Axen Act I
Progressive Metal 2017
XANTHOCHROID Of Erthe And Axen Act II album cover 3.93 | 5 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 Pangea album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Metal 2006
XANTHOCHROID Iced, In Extremis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Iced, In Extremis
Black Metal 2010

XANTHOCHROID re-issues & compilations

XANTHOCHROID Of Erthe And Axen: Acts I & 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Of Erthe And Axen: Acts I & 2
Progressive Metal 2018

XANTHOCHROID singles (7)

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Land Of Snow And Sorrow
Non-Metal 2012
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Black Metal 2013
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The Argent Crusader's Hymn
Non-Metal 2013
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Sleeping Stars
Non-Metal 2013
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The Great Sundering
Non-Metal 2014
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To Higher Climes Where Few Might Stand
Melodic Black Metal 2015
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Of Gods Bereft Of Grace
Melodic Black Metal 2017

XANTHOCHROID movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


XANTHOCHROID Blessed He With Boils

Album · 2012 · Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
XANTHROCHROID was formed in 2005 in the Orange County, CA city of Lake Forest by Sam Meador (keyboards, acoustic guitar, piano, mandolin, melodeon, autoharp, bass, accordion, Irish flute, orchestrations, vocals), Matthew Earl (drums, percussion, flute, Irish whistle, recorder, mandolin, keyboards, orchestration), Bryan Huizenga (bass), Brent Vallefuoco (guitar) and David Bodenhoefer (guitar) and like many contemporary progressive metal acts has blurred the line between exactly what constitutes a metal act and what does not. First of all if you are wondering what the band name means, it is an anthropological term that refers to a person having fair hair and a pale complexion but beyond this dictionary meaning i have no idea how it relates to this project.

This band is the perfect example of how modern labeling systems fail to keep up with the innovative hybridization of musical genres. Is this black metal? Is this Celtic folk? Progressive rock? Well, all of the above actually. Sometimes simultaneously and sometimes each genre exists in a vacuum. Needless to say that the metal tag is only a partial descriptor as is any other for that matter. There really needs to be a label of eclectic metal or eclectic folk / metal / rock or some other tag to convey that no particular genre dominates however for some reason metal’s mighty bombastic heft seems to dominate in that regard but whatever. Let’s just call this highly innovative music that samples from many other bands and weaves all the influences into a tapestry of innovation that ultimately gets titled BLESSED HE WITH BOILS which is the debut album by XANTHROCHROID.

This is epic cinematic material going on on BLESSED HE WITH BOILS. The opening track “Aquatic Deathgate Existence” sounds like some sort of Pagan ritual acoustic Celtic instrumentation with an atmospheric etherial spectral presence and haunting choral vocals. The track sounds more like a darkwave modern classical piece that Dead Can Dance would release but beginning with the title track XANTHROCHROID jumps into extreme metal territory but this isn’t ordinary metal by any means. The sounds straddle somewhere between the symphonic black metal of Emperor or Ihsahn but with a progressive time signature frenzy that is more like a sped up version of Opeth but to my ears sounds more like the jittery freneticism of Deathspell Omega at least as far as the unorthodox avant-garde chord progressions are concerned. The alternating growly / raspy / clean vocal style also sounds a lot like Enslaved’s more progressive works. Add a few liturgical chants and you got an eclectic mix here.

As well as the angularity of the black metal works the band totally drifts off into progressive folk on tracks like “Winter’s End” which eschew any metal leanings whatsoever and truly finds this band crossing boundaries without any hesitation and therefore the only connecting thread of continuity of BLESSED HE WITH BOILS is the focus on the melodic developments which are consistent from beginning to end albeit with oddball progressive time signatures but not so avant-garde that you can’t follow them upon a single listen. There was a lot of effort placed into this album to keep the musical flow diverse and ever changing which are the characteristics that interest me the most in music and is a result of the various band members contributing different levels of experience to the musical whole which adds a democratic sort of vibe to the album’s run without it feeling disjointed or farfetched. The musicianship is quite competent with special kudos to the percussive drive of Matthew Earl but all the musicians step up when called.

BLESSED HE WITH BOILS offers an entire spectrum of progressive rock / metal / folk leanings with extraordinarily bombastic metal in contrast with the lush purity of folk and everything in between. Certain passages are easily digestible and fall well outside of the parameter of progressive anything but then there are moments such as on “Long Live Our Lifeless King” where the Ihsahn progressive metal madness kicks in and avant-garde jittery time signature deviations pummel the senses yet carry a melodic underpinning that is impossible to fall under its spell. While XANTHROCHROID does tend to borrow more than create on BLESSED HE WITH BOILS, i cannot deny that this isn’t a very interesting album that has an impeccable flow from beginning to end. Derivative in many ways for sure but exceptionally enjoyable nonetheless.


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
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.


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