Saturday, 4 February 2012

Xenomorph – Empyreal Regimes

The first thing to catch anyone’s eyes on 1995 Empyreal Regimes is the killer artwork. With the depiction of H. R. Giger's Xenomorph, comes across a welcome change to all the gore and satanic images in extreme music. Unfortunately the lyric though don’t have any correlation to the Alien films, and disappointingly the music struggles live up to the artwork.

Being at the more brutal and slightly technical side of death metal, Nebraska’s Xenomorph did have a slightly interesting approach. Exploring strange structures and broad range of tempos, the songwriting is very decent for younf band. However there are moments when Xenomorph do bite off more then they chew and become cluttered. But overall the lack of attention grabbing riffs is more damaging. With rarely any memorable guitar moments and all tracks surpassing five minutes Empyreal Regimes becomes a grating process, although potential can be in the found in the chaotic Valley of the Kings or the forceful groove within Plight of the Cimmerian Subspecies. Just like the riffs the vocals also offer nothing crucial to the experience. Similarities can be drawn to Pete Helmkamp sneers, but generally missing that venomous power the Order from Chaos front man possess. Quite the opposite can be said for the drumming. Powerful and thunderous, the stick work is probably the stand out on Empyreal Regimes and the glowing in a dark tunnel when compositions become a directionless.

The production is  typical of early/mid nineties death metal being rough, though strangely some songs are more abrasive then others. In 2011 Dark Descent did a reissue that came with their (underveloped) 1993 Subspecies demo, and is questionable as to why. Not being a stand out or overerly memorable. Potential does linger within Xenomorph, so who know what could have been if they did not disband after this release. Regardless Empyreal Regimes was forgotten in 1995 with reason and will most likely remain that way.


1 comment:

  1. Not bad album. Without revelation, but not bad at all.