Review by Adam M on June 15, 2011.
This band sounds like an exciting combination of the band Textures with Symphonic Metal and that is a good thing. The songs on "II" are busy, yet nicely structured, for the most part. They are layered in their complexity in a way that is technical and streamlined at the same time. Riffs have a stop and go feel to them also characteristic of the sound Textures or perhaps Gojira performs. The sound of Xerath is very impressive at first listen and loses a bit of steam once the listener begins to digest everything.
Still, there are a lot of high points to this album that give it the flair and style to elevate it above a lot of the Heavy Metal in the current scene. There are enough moments of interspersed change of pace to keep things consistently interesting and the orchestrated feel plays a part in maintaining momentum as well. This can be seen from the abruptly paced sections of 'Reform Part III' that at times contain spoken segments. The performances of the band members on this disc are all of a high standard. Vocals alternate between Hardcore shouting and clean singing that suits the music often. Guitars are crisp and performed with a degree of intricacy, yet tastefulness. One might get the feeling that the band is going a bit overboard in terms of the amount of stuff going on and, though it might seem like this at times, things are actually kept in check a great deal. The music sounds a bit like it puts aesthetics over building a solid atmosphere, however. It definitely seems like there is too much going on at times and things could be stripped down.
Regardless, "II" is a high quality release and one of the more intriguing things I’ve heard from the Heavy Metal genre in 2011. It’s fitting that such a pompous disc would close with enthralling 'The Glorious Death', which hints at promising things in the future to come.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating 8.4 out of 10