If the thought of Strapping Young Lad combined with Meshuggah and Dimmu Borgir leaves you cold you are either deaf or dead.
The fact is that Xerath do something brave and they do it well, and praise the lord they’ve done it again on their third album. Ramped up with a new guitarist and an industrious production ethic, their latest jaunt begins with the mother of all openers sounding like the ultimate Romans versus Vikings fight to the death, and so it continues through the sonic blitzkrieg of 2053, Autonomous’s infectious headbanger of an intro – a motif that is repeated in various spots on the album to delirious effect – through Bleed This Body Clean (Kashmir on steroids), Ironclad’s Judas Priest-meets-Fear Factory mindfuck to the two-part prog epic Veil. Colossal as the sound was on previous albums, by moving the focus from violent havoc to substantial and seismic string-laden heaviness they’ve pushed the dynamics through the roof to the point where it could succeed as an instrumental release. This is definitely an album worth buying good speakers for.