When you have a band who takes all the best elements of Death Metal and Black Metal without being cliche or too big for their britches, THAT’S a winning combination. Such is the case with Vernon, British Columbia’s own XUL, a five-piece metal machine hell-bent on watching the world burn. Their latest effort Extinction Necromance is a self-released four-song EP that goes from the hard-hitting to the atmospheric to summoning Hellfire, sometimes within the very same piece. One listen to “Orbit of Nemesis” and you’ll see what I’m on about. This is the kind of track I can see being blared while some maniac has you on a table and he uses this to accompany the sounds of him cutting you open and harvesting your organs.
The songs range from just under six minutes to a little over eight, and never once do they get even remotely boring or have you looking for the exits. There is constantly something going on that both the nitpicky musicians and plain old everyday headbangers will love. A great example of this is “Chaos Requiem”. From the insane blast beats to vocalist Levi Meyers’ Black Metal growls this song never lets up and begs for repeat listens. Closer “Summon the Swarm” takes all the previous elements I mentioned and puts them through the Ninja Blender on its highest setting. The song also features some serious guitar riffs, runs, and solos from the duo of Bill Ferguson and Wallace Huffman.
The rhythm section also works remarkably well together, bassist Marlow Deiter and drummer Lowell Winters going stride for stride across each and every composition. The disc’s first number “Frozen, We Drown” feels very much like the epic that it is, with an intro to lure you in, and then jack-slapping you across the face the rest of the way. A song like this instantly made me want to seek out the other two recordings from the band, 2010’s Beyond Darkened Mountains EP and the full length Malignance, released in 2012. In short, if they keep doing what they’re doing, XUL has what it takes to gain themselves legions of new followers in the Blackened Death realm with each coming record. I’m very excited to see what happens next. Extinction Necromance is out May 19, so don’t delay!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM