XENOSIS – Definition:
“Xeno” means Alien and “Osis” is The Process Of.” “So The Name Xenosis litterly means the process of becoming an alien, or the process of alienating something” “Technically it actually refers to a disease, like the bird flu would be a good example of Xenosis,” “But for us its like taking something your not comfortable with and becoming that thing.”
I Couldn’t really tell you if it works or not though. If you are actually suffering from the desease “XENOSIS”, I would’nt really recomend “SISONEX” as being the cure. But then again I’m not a Doctor. Just A local musician, writer, internet radio dude, among other things. So If you do decide to try “SISONEX” to cure your “XENOSIS”, then please know that you are proceeding at your own risk.
(This message has not been paid for by any reprosentatives of “Xenosis”, “The Metal Cyndicate”, “The Bagman” “Official FN Radio” or anybody else for that matter. Now back to your regular programing. Or review that is.)
XENOSIS – Band References;
(This review is about the band “XENOSIS” from New Haven, CT. US. and should not be confused with the following band under the same name)
- XENOSIS – 4 – Piece Progressive Death metal band from Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Xenosis – Are a “Progressive Death Metal” band, hailing from New Haven, CT. Forming in 2010.
XENOSIS – Members Are :
- Rhys Bufford– Vocals
- Alex Perez – Guitars
- Mark Lyon – Guitars
- Dave Legenhausen – Bass
- Gary Marotta – Drums
2012 – Full Length CD – “Haunted Skies” – Track Listing:
- To The Cliffs (06:25)
- As The Atom Splits (05:13)
- The Contactee (04:23)
- Through The Eyes Of Devils (06:06)
- *Cumulus (01:37)
- The Willows Of The Brook Surround Us (03:41)
- Anthropophagy (02:57)
- Waking The Somnambulist (03:36)
- One Million Open Mouths (09:55)
Album Release Date – November 6th, 2012
8* “Cumulus,” Written by Thomas Makucevich @ http://www.makucevich.com
Engineered and Mixed By – Gary Marotta and Dave Legenhausen
Meter Storm Studios in Wallingford, CT – @ http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Album Mastered by Jim Morris
@ Morrisound Studios in Tampa, FL.
Album Artwork, CD Layout, and Photography – Claire Barber @ http://email@example.com
Band Logo – Eric Calloway @ http://firstname.lastname@example.org
CD AND BAND CONTACT INFO AVAILABLE AT :
I was first introduced to Xenosis’ music, I beleave in early 2011 while I was doing a show on another internet radio station, that is and will continue to be nameless and irreverent as far as I’m concerned. (This of course was before working with OFNR.) I will however admit, that it did give me an opportunity to help expose to the listeners (and allow myself to meet and listen to) a lot of great Independent Metal Bands here in CT. and all over the world. Many that myself and the listeners may have not been familiar with yet. Xenosis was one of these bands. Im not totally sure how I managed to get their 2010 Ep. As I hadn’t at the time, witnessed them playing live yet. I may have stumbled onto them over “MySpace” (Cringe) or something.. Maybe.. I think.. At any rate, I was almost immediately and totaly drawn to what they were doing. Songs like – “NOBEL BASTARD” “CONTRIBUTION TO THE PLAGUE” and “THINNING THE HERD”
were staples during many weeks of broadcasting. If, not for any reason, that they were just brutal as all hell, local and I really dug em. (Hey As I Always Say “THE HEAVIER IT IS, THE MORE I LIKE IT !!”) But the technicality of the band was also extreamly apparent and I enjoy music that’s like that aswell. So…
Xenosis from that point on became one of my favourite brutal bands from the CT. area. They were in fact, a band I was very anxious and thrilled to do a live air interview with. I didn’t get that chance until a year later during “The Nation Of Decimation” broadcast January 20th, 2012 @ http://www.officialfnradio.com or OFNR. During that interview, not unlike many of our shows, I learned a lot more about the the band and how they came about. As a bonus I had a chance (along with the listening audience of course) to preview one of the new songs “ANTHROPOPHAGY” (during its recording infancy). As they were planning to include it, when they were finished ultimately recording a final version, on their Latest CD . Interestingly enough, the very CD I’m reviewing here now – “Haunted Skies.” Unfortunately I kind of lost contact with them for a while after that. Time went by and late last year I noticed a post on “Face Book” revealing that the Cd was finally being released. Naturally I just knew I had to get a copy of it but, wasn’t able to run into them till only recently. I finally caught up with them at the Webster Underground opening for The “Soilwork” show on March 16th, 2013.
It’ was quite an amusing evening to say the least. I had seen “Dave Legenhausen” (Xenosis’ Bassist) walking around in the audience during the other local band’s sets. Every time I saw him, he was looking at me as if he had seen me before but couldn’t remember where. Finally after Xenosis finished their set, I approached the stage and yelled out Alex’s (Alex Perez Guitarist In Xenosis) name a few times before he finally turned around. I could see him quickly scan his memory banks to remember me, before exclaiming “Hey Bagman whats up!!” Like I said, It had been a while.. A bit later I had a chance to chat with him and Dave. During that conversation, I remarked to Dave that I had seen him in the audience occasionally gazing over at me looking perplexed, which I think embarrassed him a bit, but we all had a good chuckle about it in the end.
Hey that’s cool, I’m sure over a bit of time, like anyone, a person see tons of people everyday. So, If Its been awhile, who could blame anyone for maybe forgetting a name or remember what they look like on occasion Right? Absolutely.. Ive been guilty of it a few times. After all, with all the stuff I do, (Im sure “Agrippa” and “Alan” with what they do here, would agree, being as they see tons of people all the time too.) I’ll speak for my self here. “Im far from perfect (Shocking I know!! LOL),” I meet a lot of people in bands and otherwise, so I can’t always be expected to remember everybody. Unless I see them quite frequently or have known them for years. (Sorry in advance if I ever do that to one of you who might be reading this.) After all we’re only human.. Id probably forget my name right now if it wasn’t printed on this page somewhere. No kidding…Lol.
Never the less, after a nice talk about one another’s projects and stuff, I told them I reviewed CD’s for “The Metal Cyndicate”. They replied that were very familiar with “The site” and what Agrippa has been doing for the “CT. Metal Scene”. As a result, they didn’t even hesitate to toss me a copy of “Haunted Skies” to do this review.
And now.. Here it is..
CD Cover and Packaging
A quick glance at the new Xenosis CD and one realizes, we once again have another very nice professional cover with tip-top solid packaging. I’m really loving the extra attention Independent metal bands are putting into their packaging lately. I always like a very pro-look. A solid CD I can hold and look at till my hearts content. Awesome!!!
The album cover art is pretty badass and strange all at the same time. First off the cover image folds out to 3 pages, which reveals the entire (or close to it maybe, as I have never seen the original work) width of a painting created by “Claire Barber”. (She also handled the CD Layout and Photography)
The Image Is quite stunning and weird. As the viewer see’s a sky with greenish mist floating towards the left across all three pannels. Under the mist is a mountain scape that appears to be experiencing two different climates. The first pannel on the far left, is either on fire in the background or may symbolize a setting sun shining through a toxic sky. The next pannel to the right, (or center panel) the mountains are covered in snow. The 3rd pannel all the way to the right, (which is the actual album cover itself) has a cloud base with a creature rising above it that looks to me like a weird octopus tenticals and all. With a frogs head and bat wings. Then, not to be outdone, this strange creature is being struck by lightning coming down from the green mist floating above it. What does it mean? Im thinking maybe the mountains are a symbol of the beginning change of the ozone here on earth or the suns impending destruction of the planet. Just a guess.. Almost apocalyptic The green mist could be toxins as a result. Maybe its a different planet all together. Think of The movie “RIDDICK” or “PITCH BLACK” to get my comparison. Just a guess there too. The creature, is anybody’s guess. Maybe an alien of some kind. That would make sence, since the definition above has the band referencing “Becoming An Alien”. Just A thought.. Finishing off the Cover Image is the official “Xenosis” band logo in white. Should be familiar to many of you by now. This logo was created by “Eric Calloway”. Finally, finished off with the CD title “Haunted Skies” at the bottom. The Creature Could even be a frog headed, bat winged, octopus ghost.. Maybe.. You could always ask The artist “Claire Barber”, at the provided email above.. I guess.. Of course you can always get out and see the band live and ask them what it means. Visually awesome details and pretty cool to look at for sure!!
Flip the booklet over to see the inside. From left to right. The first pannel is a full band photo complete with band member names and instruments they play. I always like this because you can track them down at a show easier if you’ve never met them before. Great for fans so they can thank them personally for making an enjoyable CD, should they so desire. Cool.
The other two pannels have all the song lyrics printed over a burgendy red, with the same greenish mist from the cover blended in. The CD and inlay are the same image, with the X from their logo by it self. Set over a white box, with a camera film-grunge effect using black splatters and grain. Pretty sharp!!
Finally, CD cover backing image, is the fire mountain, far left of the cover painting. Here including the song titles, a few credits, barcode and Copyright XENOSIS 2012. Very Nice Job!!!
Like It so far? Yep. Makes me want to pop in the CD too!! Lets check out the tunes!!!
- If the band “Continuum” is considered one of the top “Schmoove Jazz” band in CT. (as mentioned in their erlier Cd review I had done) then as one of their counter parts, “Xenosis” would have to be a contender of top “Contemparary Pop” band in CT. Hey, If you can shake your ass fast enough to keep up, I would have to personally see that, so get in a chuckle or two out, before I hit the floor laughing my ass off !! That would truely be amusing as hell to bare witness to. Lol. At any rate right out the gates, Xenosis slams the doors in your face with their first track – “To The Cliffs”. Fast, Technical Death Metal is what you’ll get here and it really sets the tone of whats to come. Song highlights include blast beats from hell, curtacy of skins man “Gary Marotta”, almost effortless sounding guitar antics provided by “Alex Perez” and “Mark Lyon” with “Dave Legenhausen” holding down the bottom end. All The while vocalist “Rhys Bufford” screams like a rabid bear sometimes sounding a bit like “Max Calvera” from “Sepultura/Soulfly” fame, mixed with a more death growl style of Black Metal Vocals. One of my favorite parts is at the 4:54 mark where Drummer Gary does a super fast snare roll for a full 14 seconds then proforms a stop, into a off time, almost 1/8 time fill drum roll, does some jazz time signatures. A sort of drum solo if you will, then into a halftime groove with the guitar solo coming in. Talk About time changes. Damn this song has a lot of them. The lyrical theme is about a girl/woman losing a ring over a cliff and diving in after it. Evidently Dying in the process with her lover. I recommend the listener ware a neck brace while listening to this one. It Totally kills!!!!
- “As The Atom Splits” is a second helping of neck-snapping goodness. No time to rest yet kiddies!!! This song’s tempo changes dozens of times and never where you would expect. I must say If the drummer Gary was ever to leave this band or anyone else for that matter they would be in trouble. The chemistrey Is undeniable. Lyric theme here is about our self destruction. Plain and simple. Technical prowess throughout. Totally Rippin!!
- “The Contactee” kind of takes the speed wirlwind down a bit and focuses more on the groove. It also has a “MESHUGGAH” feel with its many off time signatures. Very enjoyable. I really like the arpegiated guitar fills now and again. At the 3:12 mark, “Dave Legenhausen” gets to shine through a bit, as with a few other songs on the CD. With a bit of a bass solo moment, which was nice. Im a big Musshuggah fan and this really had that type of feel. Lyrics focus on “Alien Abduction”. Good Stuff!!
- The next track “Through The Eyes Of Devils” slows it down a bit more and has an almost doomy “Candlemass (without the keyboards)” feel to it, before kicking into high speed again with break neck guitar fills throughout. Then Doubles up faster! Only to pull into an almost 80’s guitar riff with double bass rolling behind. Then into a slightly egyptian sounding solo only to fall into a jazzy type interlude and then an extended solo in the frame of maybe Steve Vai during his stint with Roth complete with wah peddle. (No Not the sound effects Vai use to do, The soloing.) This song will especially, make you feel that your moving up and down like you in a boat or something. Dont get motion sickness everyone!! It is definitely one of my personal faves off this album. Lyrics are about a girl, a demon wants and will never let go of. Sweet!!! \m/\m/
- Cumulus – is an instrumental “Sound FX” interlood written and provided by “a very good friend of the bands” “Thomas Makucevich” from out of the southern CT area. Described by members of the band, as having a writing and musical sense “that’s a bit out there”. This is a second outing for Thomas, working with Xenosis. As he also contributed the track “MIND SPACE” off of the bands’ 2010 Ep. Describing what is actually happening during this peice is a bit difficult. One can only get a feeling that its alien related, by the many phazered sounds, such as robot sounding voices and lazer streams. Science Fiction related for sure. Coming in at only a minute – 37 seconds it is pretty freaking cool though.
- Get your minute and half of rest? “The Willows Of The Brook Surround Us” cracks what’s left of your spine in half. Speed demons right off the bat. Again taking the listener through another jaunt in their majestic thrill ride. Textures and tempo changes galore. Im glad there’s four songs left cuz I cant get enough, and neither will you. Lyric theme surrounds thoes who have witnessed many destructions and their relization of an inevitable fate. Damn Good!!!
- The next track “Graves” definitely has a “MESHUGGAH” feel. At least to most listeners, I guess.. But you know what? I feel its more like in the vein of “CANDERIA From Out Of NY. In my oppinion.. Maybe People will likely feel the guitars have that “MESHUGGAH” feel and I can see that. But the death metal groove and jazz breakdowns remind me of the latter. Cool song though never the less. Lyrical theme? Seems to be about a dead corpse coming to life, out of the ground and seeing a post-apocalyptic world. Sounds Metal to Me!!! \m/\m/
- Ahh yes!! “Anthropophagy”! I’ve heard a few versions of this song and this is definatly the best one. Hellz yeah!! One of the bands that I havn’t mentioned yet, not only influence the guys in Xenosis, but remind me of, from time to time, throughout their songs is “Chuck Schuldiner’s” band. “DEATH” If any song on this CD has that feel, without sounding like anything “DEATH” has done nessessarily. This would be it. When I first reviewed this CD, before I bagan even writing. I had to take a minute to remember Chuck. It truely felt like somthing he’d do. I love “DEATH” and miss Chuck’s undeniable sound and talent. It comes as no suprise that they might have something in that vein. Since, they did host a night last year, tributing Chuck and his music. Sadly I missed that event. I can only hope, Xenosis will do it again sometime. Killer Tune!! The lyrics center around Cannibalism. Nice!!!
- “Waking The Somnambulist” has a bit of a trashier feel to it than the other songs. It also has a more modern sound like many bands have today. Complete with breakdowns. Its also, I think, is one of their more accessible songs from the list. More straight forward and not so many changes, as the majority of the CD has. Still pretty killer tune though. Lyrical theme is kind of a – Serial Killer, Corpse, Rip Van Winkle – waking up from his slumber kind of approach. I would guess..\m/\m/
- Sadly we have come to the last track and the listener will feel like their not ready for it to end yet. But dont fret because “Xenosis” aren’t going out without ripping what’s left of your ears off with “One Million Open Mouths”. This particular song would be their best example of a straight forward “Death Metal” song. It has groove, chuggyness and speed parts. It also has the longest guitar solo’s on the whole album, from what I can tell. Nice and tasty. “Gary’s” speed double bass drum parts are pretty sick here as well. Lyric Theme is Zombies!!!!
Great choice to end the disk. By the way, if listener does’nt believe “Xenosis” should have the coveted best “Contemparary Pop” band title, or maybe even, the best “POP/DANCE/RNB” Title in CT. Be sure not to shut off the CD player untill the Cd has finished running its full course. I wont tell you what, or why. Just Listen till its over. You’ll get it..
Final Thought In the End….
Wow, what can I say? Besides the fact that my neck is sore and I’m a bit exhausted. Damn what a thrill ride from hell this disc is.
I will warn you, If you like bands that play straight ahead “Metal and Rock ‘n’ Roll” with just 4×4 timing and a catchy choruses, you probably wont even understand what Xenosis are doing on This CD.
If you dont like complex arangements, “Haunted Skies” will probably go right over your head
If you only listen to “Motley Crue”, “Ratt”, “Cinderella”, “Buckcherry” and “Hair Metal Bands” you definately and probably wont like “Haunted Skies” by Xenosis
But If you like local bands with technicality, like for example “Priapism” among others, you will surely like “Xenosis”.
If you like bands like “Suffacation”, “Six Feet Under”, “Cynic”, “Athiest”, “Canderia”, Meshuggah”, “Death”, “Morbid Angel” (Not The New Stuff), “Nile” and the list goes on… Then you will love Xenosis!!
The only thing I have to gripe about, with Xenosis’ new Cd “The Haunted Skies” seems to be a reaccuring problem with many CD’s I get from local bands. Not to mention,
I feel bad that I, almost completely love an album and still have to give it a bad mark somewhere. But thats what a critic does I guess. I gotta be honest.
Many of you who read my reviews will already know what I’m gonna say. For thoes who have not read any of them yet,
Here it goes..
Why is it, that I can never hear the bass player in the mix with the guitars? I hear it during a lul in the song, or especially if the bass player is the only one playing, or doing a fill and what not.
I listen to a lot of major label bands on my free time aswell, so I know its not my equipment. I even listen to these CD’s in many different players, so I dont look like a tool when mentioning this. But for some reason, unless the bass player is playing the exact same thing as the guitars throughout and is just there to make the whole thing sound fuller. Ultimately all I hear is the low end, which the guitars are providing aswell. Therefore, really talented bassists like “Dave Legenhausen” On this CD, are getting buried alot in the mix. I felt that it seemed that way, anyway. It seems that his only truely shining moments, were when he was the only one playing, or when the guitars wern’t filling the mix so much. Ive seen him on stage and watched his fingers flying all over the fret board. Yet Im not hearing that on the CD. Im not even saying that its the bands fault. Maybe its because, I dont have 5,000 dollar speakers, like many recording studios have. Or maybe many engineers dont want to bring the bass up to much in the mix when mastering, for some reason. I am also kind confused, because this CD, was mastered by Jim Morris of “Morrisound Studios in Tampa, FL”. A man responsable for Albums by “Cannibal Corpse” among others and I have never had an issue hearing the bass on their albums. Atleast, Any released in the past 10 years.
At any rate, I relly enjoyed the new “Xenosis” CD “The Haunted Skies” and I would definitely recommend it to any and all Math Metal Heads!!!
Get out soon and see these guys live. Fucking amazing!!
I look forward to many future releases from “Xenosis” and wish them a very sucessful career in the local CT. scene and beyond!!
Stay Metal, And Always Support Underground Metal Of All Kinds, People!!!
Thanks For Reading….
About The Author:
“The Bagman” is a vocalist/musician in the Connecticut local metal scene, currently fronting a (Announced Soon) new Metal Band, coming to a venue near you – late spring/early summer 2013.
The Bagman is also an Internet radio personality “Returning Very Soon” to “OfficialFNRadio.com” (OFNR). Where he will likely continue broadcasting his Highly popular weekly Independent Underground Metal Show ”The Bagman’s Nation Of Decimation”. Keep It locked to the “Metal Cyndicate” and OfficialFNRadio.com for any updates!!!
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