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Album Review

Crossfaith – Xeno

crossfaith - xeno

There are so many styles in here it’s going to mess with your head.

Label: UNFD
Released: 18th September 2015

Rating: ★★★

Genre-blending isn’t new, but it is a fine skill. To pick two styles to mesh together and master is challenge enough, but Crossfaith have their sights on something far bigger through exploring resultant tales of  artificial intelligence and human desperation.

On ‘Xeno’, Crossfaith are not one band, but a multi-faceted musical vehicle. They can go from atmospheric orchestral offerings, have the tech sounds stab through it to slowly infiltrate, yet still end in a brutal onslaught of unrelenting metal. But that’s all in a day’s work, right?

‘Vanguard’ is one such onslaught that covers as many bases as they seem to be able to squeeze in, with a huge chorus chucked in for good measure. ‘Dystopia’ thrashes, ‘Paint It Black’ steals the album and ‘Devil’s Party’ sounds like intergalactic beings are trying to interfere with a radio broadcast of a really great song, treading the neat line between their leading genres with excellent results. ‘Ghost in the Mirror’ with Caleb of Beartooth is massive, and ‘Wildfire’ with Skindred’s Benji is just bizarre, a dance classic in the making. Some mixes are well-oiled works, others are a bit of a cluster.

The point is, really, there are so many styles in here it’s going to mess with your head. Cohesion isn’t on the cards, but ambition is. It seems to sum up their leading character, ‘Xeno’; he’s got a goal in a confusing and ever-shifting world. There’s dark and light to the individual, a constant battle between the two, and if ever an album was to represent that erratic self-journey, then ‘Xeno’ is it. Heather McDaid