This debut offering from Dubliners Xerosun actually came out in their Irish homeland back in 2010, to great acclaim on both sides of the border, but now has been picked up, re-packaged and given a worldwide release by Rising Records. And much deserved the development is, as this is – to coin a well known expression over here on the Emerald Isle – “feckin’ class” (please repeat in your best Father Ted voice!).
Part of the album’s beauty is that, in these days when everything has to fit neatly into a sub-classification of a genus of a division of a category of a pigeonhole, and has to be post-this and anti-that and what-the-shit-the-other, there are only three little words needed to describe this offering: heavy fucking metal. A lovingly crafted, excellently performed and brilliantly produced work of heavy metal, pure and simple.
There are lots of influences at play – you can detect elements of Metallica in ‘Broken’ and ‘Transparent Fantasy’ and Black Label Society in the likes of ‘All For Nothing’ and there are hints of Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Iron Maiden (almost inevitably for an Irish band) and even more progressive acts such as Devin Townshend (but without the wankfest guitar solos) – but the band also do enough to mesh these into a unique brew which also has their own identity stamped all over it, with their use of soaring melodies and almost commercial hooks. The guitars of Fiachra Kelly and Gareth Jeffs build the sound in layers, underpinned by the solid as a rock rhythm section of Darrin Bell and bassist Ivan O’Sullivan, whose vocals are simply superb – crystal clear, delivering the lyrics with passion but without unnecessary flourish, especially on the likes of opener ‘Cut Me Down’, the aforementioned ‘Transparent Fantasy, the funky yet crunching ‘Long Way Down’, the fantastic ‘Fallen’ and the powerful, punchy, in-your-face ‘Silent Call’.
Actually, it is really unfair to pick out individual songs and performances, as all ten tracks are highlights in their own right, and each musician delivers the goods with more than ample aplomb.
A great debut by a band who now hopefully will garner the same sort of respect and attention they have been enjoying in their homeland.