Xenos – Filthgrinder (album)

Release date: 24th January 2020||Genre: Thrash metal|| Label: Club Inferno

No wonder the folks in Xenos picked a title like Filthgrinder to represent this work. It reeks of industrial crust. This is a pretty raw, open sound, a bit like putting your head inside a ship engine. You can still hear everything, but it’s all right in your face, and the persistent intensity is rather nice.

Things don’t start off like that, though, we’re lulled into a soft sense of safety with Soldados. Lilting, melodic, acoustic guitar leads us in. However, as the title track crashes into the calm, it become more obvious what the long term intentions of the album truly are. It is very thrash-based, but with a mechanical clatter. Slayer have almost certainly had a hand in the formation of this band. The vocals are a bit of a nod to Tom Araya, and there are some sneaky “Reign In Blood” flourishes, too.

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As caveman-like as that sounds, there is some rather intricate guitar work. Solos here can get a bit unusual, and that seeps over into the tail end of some rhythm parts. It makes things a lot more interesting, and I think its abslence would be hugely detrimental to the overall effect. A grunting Mediterranean take on Megadeth’s Peace Sells certainly wouldn’t be possible without it.

If you are simply hunting for a big, nasty metal album, rough around the edges, and stacked with power, your quest is at an end. This album provides something you can just wreck your neck to, or examine in depth, indulging more thoughtful features.

Grade: A-
Slow Dragon


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