Between Shadows And Gods
Review by Vladimir on January 20, 2024.
These days I find it often hard to enjoy many thrash metal albums due to either being highly generic, repetitive, uninspiring or just blad as hell. However, that doesn't mean that I won't give it a chance in case I come across anything eye-catching. In this case, we will be taking a look at the Swedish thrash metal band Xion from Dalarna, with their debut full-length album Between Shadows And Gods, released on January 19th, 2024 via Dalapop. Without wasting any more time, it's time to dive in and thrash hard!
Starting things off with the opening two-minute instrumental track 'Clash', we get a glimpse of the upcoming devastation with the technical thrash metal riffs, melodic guitar solos and dynamic drum patterns. From the second track 'Evil Deeds', this is where the fun begins, as they unleash all hell with the kickass riffing, balls to the walls heavy thrash metal drums, overdriven bass guitar and melodic vocals with backing vocals on choruses. We do get one interlude track 'Caro-Kann' that shifts to the other half of the album, while also giving the listeners a minute to catch their breath, before going back into action with 'Vision Of The Blind'. For the most part, the album keeps track of its thrash metal heaviness and makes sure that the stylistic consistency of the album stays intact, however some songs like 'Death Cap' and 'Shadows' don't shy away from giving you a pure adrenaline shot in the veins with all that tightness and aggression in the music. As the album begins on a high note, so does it end with the closing track 'Buried With Love', with a very symbolic title that perfectly summarizes this experience.
Overall, it is a very standard modern day thrash metal album with traditional genre formulas and songwriting ideas, with some progression and other bits like clean guitar sections that give the songs more character and dynamic flow. A handful of songs have plenty of these intense bone crushing moments that wreck everything apart, all the way down to the riffs, bass lines, guitar solos and drums, which dominate even more with the vocals. Thankfully, the album is very easy to follow along with its total of 9 songs and everything feels focused, mostly due to its stylistic consistency and song arrangements that obviously had a lot of thought put into the creative process, with every idea being in place. Some might complain that this album doesn't really stand out from what we already have in the modern day thrash metal world, but that still doesn't erase the fact that this album has banger songs that keep the sacred flame of this subgenre burning. The sound production of this album is superb and top-notch, providing an excellent guitar tone, crunchy overdriven bass, balls to the wall banging drums and powerful sounding vocals.
Despite the fact that I tend to avoid modern day thrash metal releases, I did find this one very enjoyable to listen to from start to finish. As a thrash metal album, it does its job at being heavy, loud and aggressive, and the members of Xion understood that assignment by taking it with great responsibility and giving all they got. Between Shadows And Gods is a definite must listen for fans of newer thrash metal bands such as Havok and Warbringer, as well as oldschool thrash metal bands like Kreator, Overkill, Megadeth and such.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10837