Tag Archives: Math Metal

RXYZYXR – LMNTS

Considered(at least by me) to be the unofficial heirs to Meshuggah, RXYZYXR have finally released a full length album titled “LMNTS“, containing some strong tracks previously released by the band on Youtube, as well as a healthy amount of fresh new math metal material – and they have some really interesting un-metal cover art for this album. Take a look:

Listening to “LMNTS“, I was initially drawn to the tracks I already knew from before, such as “Denial of Death” and “Machine Hearts, Machine Minds“(previously titled “Orgazmic Ceiling”). In general, these work great just as before, but I must say I actually prefer the older Youtube versions – it feels like some mid-high frequencies got lost in the process of mixing\mastering, making me miss that RXYZYXR easy to recognize, organic sound. Still, “Denial of Death” is probably the guys’ best song and is highly worth checking out:

Of course, to understand the album as a whole you must hear the new material as it connects with the older tracks. These come together real great, much due to the album’s concept that, to be blunt, says: wake the f*ck up! Now there’s a good idea! The lyrics of course put it in more poetic fashion, and while at first looking as plain anti-religion ideas( “Multiverse” ,”Trancendal Needs“), these change & develop over the course of “LMNTS“, showcasing some real idealism, maturity and progressive thought regarding our society, our planet and how we manage those.

Following another intro, at track 6 is the excellent Meshuggah-of-a-track, “Polar Knights“, that opens with a classic quote: “In a decaying society, art must reflect decay”(Ernst Fischer?). The guys have certainly nailed it concept-wise, and have a few more quotes they integrate into their lyrics, strengthening the content of the songs(“The dark night of the world’s soul” is a good twist.. ). Of the new material, I find “The Things” and “We Dominate” to be the best tracks, possessing a rhythmical flow that’s intricate but very fluid, and putting the lyrics aside for a second, isn’t that what RXYZYXR are all about? hell yeah.

To sum it up, “LMNTS” has a lot of what you could call “personality”. From a purely sonic viewpoint, the tracks are a bit of a hit and miss, but when the guys hit their sweet spot you can feel something unique is going on. Definitely a strong release, and one that’s unafraid to present the listener with some harsh truths. The band manages to be heavy without the so-called “must have” overbearing technical nonsense that other albums in the genre suffer from having. RXYZYXR should be standing firm among the bigger names in Prog\Djent, and I look forward to hear more material from them in the future. If you want to hear the entire album and form your own opinion of it,  just head to their official Bandcamp page.

7.5/10

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Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal

As we all know, Metal fans love to disagree, the recent most heated discussion revolving around Periphery‘s new album – Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal. As guitarist Misha Mansoor said himself, his band gets a rather polarized response from people, and why do half of people dislike them? Well, as the forerunners of “Djent”, they single-handedly caused a huge wave of copycat bands to appear, many of those playing a very-watered down version of metal, making it easy for oldschool metalheads to bash the whole genre by comparing its popularity to deathcore and claiming it a trend soon to disappear.

Now, back in 2011, I myself wasn’t too impressed with Periphery’s EP – “Icarus”. It contained a lot of awesome riffs, but most of the tracks just didn’t feel like songs – if you checked out that release, you know what I mean.

However..all that changes with Periphery II.

This new album is just a wild, wild step forwards for the guys and will undoubtedly affect the whole Djent scene. I wouldn’t dub it “progressive metal” (though know-it-all Wikipedians have), as it has nothing to do with the likes of Dream Theater, but the band’s own style does progress here, in every sonic sense of the word. Structure, Melody, depth; These have all evolved exponentially. The group’s imitators made a dire mistake by relying entirely on the “off” time signatures style, and Periphery II catches them all totally off guard. The followers have just been outplayed and trampled by their heroes. Have a taste of the album below:

Like the rest of the band, vocalist Spencer Sotelo has also stepped up his game. Some dislike his voice but they cannot claim its whiny anymore. Following the intro track, he excels on “Have a Blast“, which like “Make Total Destroy“, has a real Sikth thing going on – and when that memorable chorus arrives, you just know this release is way different from “Icarus“.

The album is not perfect – with 14 tracks I’m positively sure that’s not possible. Some of the songs drag on for too long and feel similar in structure(too many instrumental C-parts), while the vocal lines sometimes feeling forced and unnatural. However, Periphery II compensates for its flaws by containing tons of amazing material that just grabs you – from the direct melodic approach of “Scarlet“, to the contrasting dissonance of “Luck as contant“, the beautiful chorus in “Erised”, and the incredible intro on 13 mile zero.

Periphery have just changed the rules of the game, and just for doing that they deserve a high rating. It’s not just about having the heaviest downtuned riff anymore, its about the return of quality song writing to math metal & Djent.

8/10

A Progressive Journey – RXYZYXR

It’s not always this easy to recommend a band who’s name you can’t pronounce, but RXYZYXR are totally worth it. They play math\prog metal which you may label as “Djent” if you want, but to my ears, sounds very different from your average trendy chug-a-long going on these days. What sets these guys apart from the rest? Well, instead of just going ’round rambling about being influenced by Meshuggah, they actually implement that hypnotic, uber-heavy style of riffage that the aforementioned band has invented. You won’t find no melodic metalcore bullshit in this concentrated worship of odd time signatures and down-tuned guitars!

Having said all that, I don’t mean to imply that RXYZYXR’s music lacks variation or is totally void of melody. While they started off as an instrumental band, the band’s newer track, “Denial of Death“, features both harsh and clean vocals, and also a trumpet solo. Yes, that’s right! a freakin’ trumpet solo! If you’re not excited yet, you’re obviously experiencing some sort of denial (; check out this epic track now!

Personally I think the vocals are great, but if you want to hear how these guys sounded before they evolved into the beast in the above video, check out this older track, “Orgazmic Ceiling“. It’s not any less awesome, and actually features Ashton Kutcher on drums! Ok that last bit is a lie and a joke which I read in the comments of the video, but one thing’s for sure – this drummer is excellent.

I’m highly impressed by RXYZYXR, and can’t wait for them to release a new track..or better – a full length album. if you feel the same, I recommend following them on Facebook !