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Xenos – The Dawn Of Ares Award winner

The Dawn Of Ares
by Will Travers at 27 July 2021, 5:13 PM

Come one come all to the beauty of Sicily. The picturesque Mediterranean island of rolling hills, beautiful weather and the Thrash trio XENOS. Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing their album “Filthgrinder” and what an album that was, so I can only try and portray my excitement at their newest release “The Dawn Of Ares”, if their debut is anything to go off, sit down, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Opening is “I Am The Machine” and instantly the music attacks my speaker. Hard hitting riffs and an energy that made the hairs on my arms stand on end. Ignazio’s rough vocals really complement the traditional Thrash styles, like is it just me or could this have been plucked from the Bay Area heyday?! The titular “The Dawn Of Ares” may break some of the stereotypes (mainly with it being an 8 minute EPIC) but don’t let that fool you. These guys clearly know what they are doing, the track almost feels like a number welded together to deliver this experience. Take what’s best of say ANNIHALATOR, SLAYER, ANTHRAX and maybe throw in a little VENOM INC and you are going to get this track. The transitions between sections are flawless and the whole flow of the track is delightful.

So when I first saw the track listing I totally misread one of the names… I saw “Circle Of Lies” as circle of life and I was so excited to hear XENOS do some sort of Thrash cover of the Disney classic, but then I realised my mistake and realised how ridiculous it would have been. But, “Circle Of Lies” hits hard, straight and really does not pull any punches. The hard riffs, the deft guitar runs in the to take the edge of a little bit and that solo, my god the whole section just washed over as a cathartic wave.

“The Dawn Of Ares” continues to fly through delivering punchy track after punchy track. But there is more than just an aggressive atmosphere to the music. There is a delicacy to it all, which I can find is sometimes missing in some of the music that is getting pushed out at the minute. There seems to be a focus on delivering the most Metal music, often at the expense of the actual music. But the track for me that captures this within “The Dawn Of Ares” has to be it’s final track “The Healer”, really encapsulates everything that is fantastic about this record. The polished musical performances from Ignazio, Giuseppe and Danilo round the album off with such finesse and passion that I am just once again left waiting in anticipation for the next release from this trio of Sicilian Thrash artists.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. I am The Machine
2. All Shall Fall
3.The Dawn Of Ares
4. Circle Of Lies
5. Shields
6. Interceptors
7. The Prophet
8. Still To The Front
9. The Healer
Ignazio Nicastro – Vocals & Bass
Giuseppe Taormina – Guitars
Danilo Ficicchia – Drums
Record Label: Iron Shield Records


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Edited 21 September 2021

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