I get very lucky with these releases sometimes. I’m not talking here about the quality of the music produced, but of the circumstances of its delivery. This release comes as a double tape packed in a dyed cloth bag with a logo pin and a handful of Spanish moss. I am very thankful to the customs officers who didn’t bother to check what’s in the package, and I hope they are not reading this review… I could get in some serious trouble…
Since I have already mentioned the brilliance and the effort made in making this release look like it does, let me concentrate on the music itself. This is some sort of a re-release of the first two demos by this Galizian horde. Still, both tapes contain bonuses that make this release even more worthy.
The first tape contains the debut demo “O Espírito Da Fraga” from 2001. The material shows a young band but with a clear vision of the path to take. This is some sort of crude Black Metal, focused on the atmosphere that is to become a trademark in the future of the band. When I say “crude” you should not think of those raw and primitive Black Metal bands. Xerión displays some influence from those as well, but contains a big dose of Folk influences beautifully woven in their songs. After all, they are using Celtic mythology indigenous to the area which they come from in their lyrics too. The demo turns out quite melodic, and sets sail to the grandiose arrangements and even further use of Folk elements they are implementing today. Concluding the tape is a freshly recorded (2017). Cover of Windir’s “Journey to the End” which is like a fitting outro to the demo.
“O Trono de Breogán” from 2002 shows a similar sound, but it seems like the production work was a bit out of focus. Musically, Xerión remains on the same path of Atmospheric Folk wrapped around Black Metal roots. Even if it’s just the second demo, one can clearly hear the sheer maturity of the composition characteristic for the later stages of the band’s career. Originally this material consisted of two songs plus an instrumental outro and a Darkthrone cover. Over here, aside of the two original tracks, we get two new tracks recorded in 2016. Those are actually instrumental ambient tracks that do stand their ground as examples of what Xerión would sound with no guitars and screaming vocals included. Simply, another piece of brilliance.
These recordings were made as a one-man band, and stand to show that it can be done by a single person. Light-years away from most of the “bedroom projects” of the new millennium, Xerión displays a musical identity of their own which has stood the test of time. From what I could understand, the first month of the New Year should bring us the new album by this band. Personally, I can’t wait to hear it!