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Xeno: Sojourn

Xeno is a progressive metal band from Middelburg, The Netherlands, comprising of frontman bass player Ruben Willemsen, prominent keyboard player Sean Lubbersen, punchy drummer Damian de Muijnck and backing guitarists Edwin Haan and Jasper Bruggeman who all come together to create a unique atmosphere of impending doom and heartfelt melodies. The music itself is influenced by bands like Periphery, Tesseract, Opeth, Plini and Porcupine Tree which will be very apparent. However, do not think that the band doesn’t build upon their inspirations because they certainly do on this record; a sublime landscape of sounds and tonal shifts. Porcupine Tree and Opeth are their most apparent musical references to my ears, but with a plentiful pinch of originality to vary the pallet of the listener.

‘Revery’ acts as a wonderfully brief introduction to the band’s soulful and eerie side that frequently shines through on the record to help prevent itself from lingering its dense and hard-hitting moments of death metal. Then through a beautifully simplistic transition into ‘In Stasis’ you are given a glorious fusion of sounds and feelings for six minutes. This is certainly a standout track as the keyboards provide a rich and thoughtful layer during their arguably most melodic moments on the record. This track even boarders on jazz at times, nice. ‘Epiphany’ is another truly dynamite track as it gives Willemse’s bass a meatier weight and the chorus, oh the chorus. Beautifully layering Willemse’s throaty growl, Lubbersen’s heart-tugging piano and angelic backing vocals by the rest of the band. The ending is sombre and sparse in its nature, but acts to compliment the next track, as do most on this record. Following the gorgeous interlude ‘Memories’ is my favourite track, ‘Closure’. It has a melancholic hammond organ, what more needs to be said. That and the tastefully added strings to make the moments of ‘closure’ heighten further in their emotional delivery. Then to finish everything off is the respectably epic title track ‘Sojourn’, I feel as though this track too closely resembles the sounds of others in the record and feels a little stitched together therefore. However, the piano and keyboards on this epic are still deliciously masterful as well as the rapid and roaring ending; which also makes the final and first track circle back to each other, interesting.

If you’re after some thoughtful and ‘in the dark headphone friendly’ progressive death metal, you’ll definitely find it.

Track listing:

  1. Revery
  2. In Stasis
  3. Dusk
  4. Epiphany
  5. Exile
  6. Nomad
  7. Memories
  8. Closure
  9. Resurge
  10. Uncaged
  11. Sojourn

Added: April 26th 2022
Reviewer: Johnny Ponsford
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 472
Language: english

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