Saturday, 20 June 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Xenoglyph, "Mytharc"

By: Zak McCune

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 17/04/2020
Label: Glossolalia Records

“Mytharc” CS//DD track listing:

1. A Flickering Eternity
2. Mytharc
3. Shades of Illusion
4. Wraith Chamber
5. Repression Regime

The Review:

What is a Xenoglyph?

The year is 2020. One of the most powerful nations in all human history has elected a reality TV show host with a petty and fragile, egomaniacal demeanor for their President and leader. Polar ice caps, integral to maintaining a comfortable ecosystem for human life to survive, are drastically melting as ice sheets which have not defrosted for some 2.6 million years are, now, cool liquid. Nuclear warheads, capable of ending all life on planet earth some 46 thousand times over, are pointed in every direction, and whose red activation buttons are under the thumb of power-hungry morons. A new, wildly infectious disease has spread over the face of the earth. Under governmental decree, people are forced inside, cutting off contact with others including their own family. Businesses have been forced to shut. Travel has grinded to a halt. And dominos of the earth’s economy are colliding, falling one after the other, leaving a supermega dust cloud of uncertainty, poverty and fear.

Enter a transmission - nay - an entity from “Super-Earth”, GJ 357 d, taking the shape of a, self-described, psychedelic black metal album whose members’ identities are as equally shrouded as their origins are unknown. Its name? “Mytharc”. The band? Xenoglyph.

All bullshit theatrics and cosmic mysterium aside, “Mytharc” is a massive slab of traditional black metal that possesses continuous movement. From start to finish the all-too-familiar cadence of stiff snare hits striking in between iced-out metronomic hi-hat variations, with continuous double bass drumming, goad the frigid guitar leads while evil breathy screams are buried somewhere toward the back of the mix. The album has an excellent atmosphere. Never pushing too far but never not giving enough, the focus of Xenoglyph is clear. 

Mytharc” is more than the sum of its parts. Truly, it is not the type of album that has big singular moments nor does it seem interested in bringing the listener to any sort of grand point. Rather, “Mytharc” is presented like one excellent ink-soaked swath of ethereal dread. As any fan of the biggens like Immortal or Arckanum or Dark Funeral or even the ignoble Emperor would come to expect, “Mytharc” builds large amounts of catharsis, not from crescendonic moments, but gradually over longer stretches of melodic time. These weird alien dudes from GJ 357 d seem more interested in leaving you with a general presence than they are trying to convey a specific intent, the likes of which you may get from a long, mapped out journey with a final destination. Perhaps, they are trying to show us earthlings that the chaos we all feel in the time of their visit is less exceptional and something even more terrifying: constant.

“Mytharc” is available HERE

Band info: facebook