In the distant future when the Tentacube invades our pitiful, beleaguered planet (by which I mean three days from now, on the other side of our ghastly election), the widely differing strands of extreme metal will be fused into a single, monstrous, throbbing tentacle groping for your pleasure centers. By which I mean that Seattle’s XOTH will release their debut album, Invasion of the Tentacube, which you will be able to hear in its entirety below.
It may be an exaggeration to claim that XOTH have fused together all of the divergent strands of metal into a single heavy chord, but it’s true that attempting to cabin this head-spinning collage of sounds within a few simple genre terms would be a fool’s errand. The part about the pleasure centers? That’s totally true.
The members of XOTH have a variety of other bands on their resumes, including Phalgeron, Warbringer, and Lecherous Nocturne. The music on Invasion of the Tentacube reflects the diversity of music represented by those other groups, but it ranges even further afield. And what makes the album so successful even as it reaches for some difficult goals of assimilation is a combination of excellent songcraft and truly impressive technical skill by everyone engaged in the endeavor.
Powered by explosive energy and an overflow of inventive ideas, the songs integrate elements of thrash, progressive metal, technical death metal, black metal, and more. And while the music is intricate in a way that showcases the performers’ top-shelf instrumental skills, it’s equally electrifying — and perhaps unexpectedly primal in the appeal of its jolting rhythms and catchy melodies.
Thematically, the songs reflect the band’s interests in space, science fiction, and Lovecraftian horror. But the album isn’t a paean to gloom and doom. If disaster and horror loom ahead of us, XOTH greet it with evil grins. The music is almost constantly teetering on the brink of madness — or leaping exuberantly right over the edge with head back and arms flung wide — yet this is more a victory celebration of madness than some kind of wrenching collapse.
There may be other releases out there in the year that’s rushing to a close which are more bursting with vibrant energy and the sheer thrill of converting lifeless instruments into high-speed turbochargers, but if so, I’m having trouble thinking what they might be. Do yourselves a big favor and let this album thrash your head upside-down and inside-out. (Band comparisons are fraught with peril, especially in this case, but I’d venture to say that if you’re an admirer of Vektor or Obscura, you’ll eat this up.)
Tyler Splurgis – Guitar & Lead Vocals
Woody Adler – Guitar & Vocals
Ben Bennett – Bass & Vocals
Jeremy Salvo – Drums
Invasion of the Tentacube will be released on November 10, 2016, after which XOTH will embark on a West Coast tour running the gauntlet from Seattle, WA, to Tijuana, Mexico. To pre-order the album, visit this location: