Friday, October 22, 2010

Xenomorph: Empyreal Regimes (1995)

Criminally Forgotten

I first heard about Xenomorph from Metallattorney. There is apparently a Dutch band by the same name, but this is the technical death metal band from Omaha, Nebraska I'm talking about here.

Nebraska, my home state, is not known for metal. I've discussed the subject a few times, but the bottom line is that no worthwhile metal has ever come from the state--or at least that's what I thought before I heard Xenomorph. They played a very heavy, dirty, slow (for death) style reminiscent of Morbid Angel, but also with parallels to Nile and the New York death metal bands, especially Suffocation. (The bassist would go on to join Immolation.)

The album starts on an Orff-ish intro before moving into the death. The songs are progressive and tend to be fairly long (6 to 8 minutes). The vocals are nothing special, and you can't really make out the bass, but the drums and guitars are spectacular. The extremely clever solos sound a bit like a slow-motion Kerry King, but with a twist (check out "Subspecies" or "Inducted Through Time" for great examples).

Thematically, I wish they would have stuck with the sci-fi horror theme implied by their name. Instead, they explore Nazism, exorcism, and ancient Egyptianism (I thought I needed a third -ism), complete with samples.

Highlights include "Inducted Through Time", "Plight of the Cimmerian", and "Valley of the Kings".

The Verdict: This is amazing, unique death metal, from an unexpected place, and absolutely worth finding a copy (no easy feat). It's a crime they never recorded another album or got a record deal. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.


  1. Good to see you enjoyed that. I'm listening to it right now in fact. I did see Bloody Harvest is going to be reissuing it soon, possibly only on vinyl. I am definitely picking it up.

  2. I really did enjoy it.

    Personally, I can't justify buying a record player, considering I almost never get a chance to listen to music at home, and the price difference between vinyl and MP3. A high-quality MP3 (256-320 Kbps) is good enough for me.