Three years after its predecessor, the fifth album by this Galizian duo is out! Well, they have become a trio in the meantime. However, the young lady responsible for most of the screaming in the Xerión family is yet to make a recording debut.
“A essência do Abismo” is said to have been influenced by the European baroque and renaissance songs, mostly by composers Diego Ortiz and Heinrich Ignaz Biber. I must admit to not having listened to the works by the aforementioned artists, but it seemed interesting enough, at the very least. Of course, it has become almost impossible to imagine a Xerión record without a lot of influences from their own heritage, so there are those as well. For me, personally, this crude Black Metal basis of their songs has become the weakest link in their creations. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a fine example of how Black Metal should be portrayed. Riffing creativeness is on a high level, drum patterns are diverse enough and a subtle keyboard underlines make for a nice atmospheric addition. All of that is intersected with a couple of keyboard, bagpipe or whistle interludes, where you can easily feel the said baroque and renaissance input. It is at those moments where Xerion tends to remind me of a darker version of Blackmore’s Night. When you put all of that on the same pile, you get sort of an epic feeling, alike Primordial, for example.
Lyrical themes remain strictly tied to the Galizian folklore, which is another reference to Primordial. Xerión has again used the skills of a brilliant artist to wrap their album in a majestic cover artwork that presents the already described style and theme of the release. This time it was the work of Cesar Valladares, also known for his work with Asphyx and Grave Miasma, among others.
Xerion is 18 years old this year. They have traversed a long path to come to this point in their career, and it is felt all along this album. It has all come together fine. Let us hope they can keep up with the high standards they have set for themselves.