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Xicution - For the World Beyond

Xicution
For the World Beyond
by Mike Peacock at 28 February 2022, 4:05 PM

German zombie metallers XICUTION are back with their fourth album “For the World Beyond,” bringing with them the horror inspired OSDM that they have been known for since the launch of their debut album “Zombie War” in 2011. It’s clear that in the six years since their last release (2016’s “Infected”), the band have been hard at work crafting this new story and honing their musical craft with brutal precision.

For those not in the know, XICUTION has forged their identity as a concept death metal band solely dedicated to telling stories about the zombies and the coming end of days. And this latest concept continues down that gory road, revealing a twisted tale of the bloody rise and fall of an evil tyrant during the zombie apocalypse. And while the argument can be made that the world has been saturated with all of the zombie-related media and pop culture that it can bear, XICUTION stays the course, gambling on the premise that their method of delivering the horrors of the undead is still enticing enough to satisfy the die-hards (pun intended) and unique enough to attract new victims into their fold.

So the question remains: is it?

Lyrics aside, the musical presentation is outstanding. The band does a phenomenal job of combining the best elements of old school death metal that purists love: plenty of chugging, awesome double-bass, blast beats, thrash and grind elements, and brutal growls.  Additionally, there are some welcomed melodic elements that seek to accent without taking over, and it works flawlessly.

Vocalist Jano Zombie (real name classified) has a great death growl that at times smacks of Kam Lee and Barney Greenway, and the overall feel album reminds me somewhat of “From Beyond” and “Harmony Corruption,” but it still manages to not sound completely derivative. The use of theatrical elements and soundscapes serves to do a great job of transitioning songs as well as creating the creepy and suffocating ambience that was clearly the intended feel of this album. Illustrating this point perfectly is the album’s theatrical opening track “World Demise,” which sets the stage for the ensuing horror with a cool intro that takes us right into a fast riff-heavy onslaught.

First Kill” continues the grinding pace with relentless energy and really cool transitions from thrashy to chuggy, while the drums pummel you into submission continuously. With noting that drums on this album, provided by Fjalli, are a true highlight and are used effectively to provide depth.  The next track “Decaying Entrails” continues its frantic pacing, though there is a cool semi-clean breakdown and an abrupt ending before launching full force into “Leichenlager.” I particularly like how the band changes up the tempos and sounds on this album, and this track even has some really cool vocal changeups that remind me of CORONER and MALEVOLENT CREATION.

Speaking of changeups, the midpoint of this opus come in the form of the hauntingly oppressive “Whisper in the Dark.”  With its ambient clean guitars and doomy vibe, this track is easily my favorite and maintains the crushing feeling of impending doom throughout. They even managed to make the vocal whispers sound killer instead of cheesy and fading out this song over those clean guitars served to prolong the pain. Absolutely epic. And they bring the feeling back for the short instrumental “Taste of Sin,” providing a brief psychological break from the madness before throwing you to the zombies once again with the brutally melodic thrash-inspired track “Cannibal Instinct.”

World Beyond” also incorporates some fantastic melodic elements and transitions out with another ethereal clean guitar sound that fades back in on the final cut, “Chaos Arise,” which isn’t really a song per se but a cinematic amalgam of character voiceovers that leave the listener wallowing in despair with little hope of survival.

Back to the original question of whether or not XICUTION have provided a zombie-themed work that is actually worth listening to, my answer is a resounding “Yes.”

For the World Beyond” is a crushing album that has a horrifying cinematic feel. It successfully blends various elements to create a truly dark and foreboding atmosphere that fans of old and new school death metal alike will enjoy.  I am impressed by the way in which the clean and semi-clean guitars are used sparingly but effectively in combination with the various vocal and drum techniques to make each song sound different yet retain a sense of cohesiveness. My only real gripe is that the bass is practically non-existent, completely buried in the mix and forever relegated to the realm of the sonically unappreciated. The overall mix is nice, with just the right amount of production to make it sound professional and listenable without sounding overproduced.

Fans of MASSACRE, NAPALM DEATH, MORGOTH, DECAPITATED, GORGUTS, and FROM HELL should enjoy this epic piece of brutality that was released on February 11, 2022, by Kernkraftritter Records in both CD and digital format.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. World Demise
2. First Kill
3. Decaying Entrails
4. Leichenlager
5. Fear the Living
6. Whisper in the Dark
7. Slaughter to Exist
8. Taste of Sin
9. Cannibal Instinct
10.World Beyond
11. Chaos Arise
Lineup:
Jano Zombie – Vocals
Sio Resistor – Guitars
Julian - Bass
Fjalli – Drums
Record Label: Kernkraftritter Records
     


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