Xoth - Interdimensional Invocations

I pushed the play button and before I even read the title 'Casting The Sigil' a Death "The Sound Of Perseverance" riff put me in the mood of what was to follow on Xoth's second full length album. Prog/tech thrash/death. The bright sound of the bass guitar and the "Individual Thought Patterns" lead guitars sound were advocating it.

The narrative vocals in the middle of the song add an epic tone, but in the rest of the song they are basically thrash with variations from death to black metal. The leads used owe a lot to Mercyful fate and Death. The snare cymbal sound comes a bit weak on my speakers. It could have been a bit thicker. The band has nice ideas, technical skills and nice performance, but the songwriting is not easily memorable.

'Mountain Machines' is a melodic tech-thrash song. Its twisting guitar theme is surely influenced by the 80's heavy metal and especially the American heavy metal scene. The melodic guitar phrases used sound like a thrashier version of Iron Maiden. The bass performs a nice solo that serves as a precursor of the guitar solo.

The evil riff of 'Back To The Jungle' accompanied with fast drums delves into the old school. The palm muted second riff is an old school death/black metal riff. The guitar phrases lead to a very nice and this time punishingly slow guitar solo. The vocals, thrashy in their own style feature some death/black variations. In this song Xoth at parts sound like a thrashier Absu version.

'Unseen Abductor' complex high end riff with the bright bass supporting it soon turns to a lower and darker tutti. The song is more brutal compared to the previous ones. Some neoclassical guitar passages appear. However the song is still thrash. The lead guitar work in this one is a mixture of late Death (who semm to be a very basic influence for Xoth) with a Judas Priest 'Painkiller' touch in terms of the brightness received from the production.

In 'Haruspex' the influences from the 80's heavy metal re-appear. I can listen to bands like Omen, Running Wild and even Manowar in the riff structure. Nevertheless, everything is wrapped in thrash. The result is very interesting and reminds me of bands like Mekong Delta. The narrative vocals fit better with this song. The heavy metal aura of Xoth's lead guitar is greatly missed by many of today's releases. The last lead of the song sounds like tapping on guitar synth effect, thus has an Iron Maiden "7th Son Of A 7Th Son" touch.

'Plague Revival 20XX' is probably the most death metal song of the album. The bass did an excellent performance here using slap techniques, harmonics and slides. The syncopated rythmic class of the song steal the air you breathe. The lead guitar is the sweet redeemer. Drum fills are awesome here. A mid tempo riff is used before the lead guitar. After the lead a beatdown riff and low end vocals appear to enhance the diversity and evilness of the song that is left to end in an almost grind way!

'The Ghost Hand Of God' continues the trip into tech heavy/thrash. VoiVod fans will surely dig it. The bass shines again and does an exceptional job. A spacey sound lead guitar ends 'The Ghost Hand Of God' in dreamy atmosphere.

'Melted Face Of The Soul' opening theme could have been a power metal theme. Xoth have no limits in their music. The thrash riff that follows puts things in place again. The sub-melodies are sweet and harmonious. Even the palm muted riffs used have nice harmonies. The lead is more of a progressive rock style in 'Melted Face Of The Soul' bringing to mind bands like Genesis, Eloy and King Crimson.

To sum up my review for "Interdimensional Invocations", this is a well crafted tech/prog thrash/death record with a suitable for the genre and not over-polished production. Xoth are open minded enough to include diverse elements in their music; from heavy metal of the 80's to black metal (especially on vocals) and then power metal and neoclassical passages. They have the technical skills to support this diversity and manage to combine all their influences to fit in their style. In their songs Xoth often play with key and time signature changes. The cover artwork of "Interdimensional Invocations" is sci-fi influenced. It is cartoonish and futuristic. Xoth have nice ideas in their songs but their songwriting is complex and not really memorable. It requires more listenings to be understood. Maybe they should try work more in the mix some details next time, but most of all to structure their songs in a bit more memorable way. Bottom line is that sci-fi lovers who enjoy the prog/death albums of Death, the insanity/weirdness of VoiVod and the new/old mixed blood Vektor bring to thrash/extreme metal, will find that Xoth fulfill their music taste.

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1. Casting The Sigil
2. Mountain Machines
3. Back To The Jungle
4. Unseen Abductor
5. Haruspex
6. Plague Revival 20XX
7. The Ghost Hand Of God
8. Melted Face Of The Soul


Self released
Reviewer: Manos Michaelides
Nov 27, 2019

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