Progressive, technical death metal might be a turn-off for some, but don’t let these monikers fool you into thinking that Xenosis’ latest isn’t for you. Devour and Birth is neither fast for the sake of being fast nor technical for the sake of being technical. This is smart, richly detailed death metal.

Now three records in, it’s clear that Xenosis know what they’re about. They open with “Night Hag”, a track that sets the scene rather well; it’s dark and foreboding, but with enough of a hook to keep you involved. Indeed, Devour and Birth keeps you along for the ride thanks to quality riffs that stand out when listening to other contemporary technical death metal. Part of this can be attributed to Xenosis carrying a djent-esque sound, which they apply many different skills to. The tempo chops and changes, with subtle shifts found across the length of each track. It’s complicated stuff, but it is kept listenable and enjoyable thanks to the aforementioned quality riffs along with a smattering of other fine aspects to the band’s sound.

There is never a dull moment on Devour and Birth. Sal Bova’s deep, guttural growls, for instance, are spine-tingling yet he also varies his register so as to avoid a monotonous sound. Sweet guitar solos swell the air; the drums fill the overall sound rather than overwhelm it. In addition, this is an album full of smart songwriting. Take “Concave” for example. This track builds itself around a slower, chugging riff, but deviates from falling into a predictable pattern. It shifts, negotiating itself around a tricky track full of tight bends and steep inclines as a quality driver would, with not only skill and precision, but with a flow. Devour and Birth flows effortlessly throughout. Even “Ominous Opus”, a slow, overtly dark and chugging track never stops to let itself become one note. Whatever happens in each track, however, it will always be absurdly heavy.

It is worth noting that these are not impressions which will instantly come on first listen – it takes a few spins before the record truly clicks. At first, it just seems quite fast, and very heavy, but without a lot of essence. However, you will discover that there is a lot to love about. It feels like a lot of effort went into the songwriting to help ensure that Devour and Birth is three-dimensional and as enjoyable beyond its technical ability. There is an abundance of riches waiting to be discovered.

Xenosis’ latest record is smart, brutally heavy and never dull thanks to a good amount of quality riffs, sweet guitar solos and clever use of the full range of death growls. This is a progressive/ technical death metal album that is full of head and heart. You may not love it at first, but a few listens in and you’ll truly appreciate the skill, rich detail and heart that were poured into this record.

Devour and Birth Track Listing:

01. Night Hag
02. Army of Darkness
03. Delirium (Death of a God)
04. Concave
05. Oxidation
06. Ominous Opus
07. Devour and Birth
08. The Projector

Run Time: 40:23
Release Date: January 19, 2018

Get your metal on and stream the full Devour and Birth album.