Xerosun – This Dark Rage

Photography by Olga Kuzmenko

Time for another catch up moment, this time with the This Dark Rage EP from Irish melodic death metallers Xerosun released a handful of months back. It is fair to say that since we covered and enjoyed the band’s debut album Absence of Light way back in 2011, they and their sound have quite simply evolved into completely new attention grabbing beasts, changes and evolution leading to their latest impressive  proposition more than deserving of a belated look.

With a just as hungry progressive bent to their ravenous sound, the Dublin quintet has persistently drawn greater praise and support in recent times. Building on previous successes like that first album and sharing stages with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Soulfly, Xerath, and In This Moment, the past two years have been exceptionally busy for Xerosun. Two headline UK tours have been accompanied by performances at festivals such as Mammothfest and Siege of Limerick, times capped off by the release of EP/mini album This Dark Rage and the Olga Kuzmenko created video for its title track, both themed around the Craigslist killer Miranda Barbour, a subject set to be further explored in the band’s new album set for later this year.

This Dark Rage opens with that title track, vocalist Martyna Halas-Yeates’ raw throated scowls courted by the predatory prowl of guitars and rhythms; it all soaked in venom and spite. As riffs continue to gnaw and beats stab, the primal instincts of the track suddenly flip into a groove driven canter, Halas-Yeates’ tones becoming a siren of beauty before the beast returns in voice and song again. The rapier like jabs of drummer Damian Dziennik hold even more spite while David Kuchar’s bass is savage in tone and flirtatious in swing matching the now established web of hostility and grooving. It is a compelling blend and result, the guitars of Fiachra Kelly and Gareth Jeffs rich in craft and enterprise while Halas-Yeates captivates in her dual persona. She is angel and demon and though her melodic prowess feels more natural, her vocal causticity only convinces within the adventurous tapestry around her, wicked grooves deviously colouring the unfolding lyrical drama.

Anatomy of a Lie follows the great start, even overshadowing it as it creates its own groove sculpted temptation, one again bred from ruinous fractions of intent and a blossoming of magnetic melodies and harmonic flames again led by Halas-Yeates’ kind side. It is a song which has grown and evolved since its first outing within a great video back in 2013 and another sign of the band’s hunger to grow and draw every ounce of their imagination to the fore. As all tracks, it is a fusion of flavours beyond the description we first gave you, a controlled but bold maelstrom of antipathy and warmth lighting the senses much as the tempest within next up I Spared Hundreds succeeds in. With electronic essences almost taunting ears from its shadows, the song is a carnal provocation with a relatively latent but openly glimpsed peace. Harmonies and keys temper the cancerous instincts surrounding them, while imagination is an increasingly riveting trait in the song as innocence and insanity mingle in the corners of its psychosis.

The release is brought to a close by firstly The Mother of Morality, a corrosive web of sound with Middle Eastern veining radiated in suggestive melodies and vocal elegance. At times it is like a mix of The Agonist and Motherjane, in other moments more Scar Symmetry and Arch Enemy nurtured, and quite beguiling. As the EP, the track just grows with every listen, the enjoyment of its first appraisal becoming more lustful and impressed with every venture into its passionately lit caverns.

Repent, Rewind, Reset brings it all to an end, its seven minutes plus a spiral into emotional and mental turbulence matched by a soundscape of volatile and schizophrenic sound. Though for whatever reason the track does not grab as powerfully as its predecessors, it makes for a fine and fascinating conclusion to a release which only impresses more and more. Xerosun is a band on the ascent with a potential driven, imagination powered sound to match.

This Dark Rage is available on CD and download @ https://xerosun.bandcamp.com/

http://www.xerosun.com/    https://www.facebook.com/xerosun   https://twitter.com/xerosun

Pete RingMaster 31/03/2017

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Xerosun – Absence Of Light

With a sense of recognition alongside fresh vibrant riffs and melodic insurgency comes the debut album from Irish rock/metal band Xerosun. The quartet from Dublin though founded in 2003 are still relatively unknown to many but with Absence Of Light released via Rising Records one suspects that will surely change as its thrusting and impressive sounds find more eager ears to satisfy.

Consisting of vocalist and bassist Ivan O’Sullivan, guitarists Fiachra Kelly and Gareth Jeffs, and drummer Darrin Bell, Xerosun have unleashed ten tracks that though they admittedly do not break down many doors into unknown musical territories but do eagerly and cleverly utilise influences and touches to enhance their own flavoursome sounds and ideas. The songs are varied and play with a slight Foo Fighters /Sick Puppies taste fused with some Metallica intensity and grunge rock spices, each seemingly playing like an old friend with a glimpse of familiarity and all with a striking and infectious energy.

Since their formation the band has gigged extensively across Ireland and the UK and released two well received EP’s and additional videos to coincide with their appearance. Along the way they have also grabbed the attention and support of the likes of Paradise Lost guitarist Gregor Mackintosh when Xerosun covered his band’s classic track ‘True Belief‘. With a TV appearance in Ireland reaching 500,000 also under their belt things are moving upward for the band something Absence Of Light can only accelerate.  

The album opens on a high with ‘Cut Me Down’, the song is an instant pleasure for the senses with the pumping riffs and Hetfield like vocal attack from O’Sullivan an obvious and engaging invitation. The sing-a-long chorus adds to the eager attack and the song is a friend long before it lays down its last note. Though not the most aggressive track on the album it is no less pleasing as can be said about its successor ‘In My Mind’ which though different carries the same rock set up and result.

One of the especially pleasing aspects of songs is the deep basslines and tone again of O’Sullivan. His throbbing and emotive bass a wonderful contrast and compliment to the incisive and robust guitar play from Kelly and Jeffs. ‘Broken’ is an impassioned song rising up off of a dark bass riff toned with a part gothic part grunge almost Pearl Jam like feel. It stands as one of the three stand out songs though all tracks on the album are very agreeable.

Long Way Down’ starts on the best gutsy bass sound heard in a long time under pinning the more melodic direction of the song. The song as with all is well written and thought out, having every aspect a good rock song should in abundance except a sting of originality maybe but when it sounds this good it is hard to level that as a major flaw. The album’s best track ‘Silent All’ is the same, not breathing uniqueness but conjuring and delivering aggression and excitement that the majority of releases fail to find.

If you are looking for solid and exciting rock/metal sounds that attach themselves to the ear with eagerness and extremely well presented thrilling hooks, riffs, and melodies look no further than Xerosun. They may still be yet to find their own distinct sound but they still leave most other rock bands standing in their wake.


RingMaster 04/11/2011

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