Black Hole Deity is a new name in death metal, but it has a veteran line-up, whose instrumental and songwriting skills are on full display in the band’s absolutely electrifying debut EP Lair of Xenolich, which we’re premiering in full today in advance of its February 5th release by Everlasting Spew Records.
The band was first conceived by Cam Pinkerton and Chris White, co-founders of the death metal band Chaos Inception, and they then recruited Alec Cordero (from the death metal bands Cruelty Exalted and Calcemia) to handle lead guitar duties, and finally got none other than Mike Heller of Malignancy, Fear Factory, and Raven to handle the drumming.
Drawing upon supernatural and sci-fi themes, what this fearsome foursome have created is an explosive assault that’s a pure adrenaline rush, as well as one that inflicts megaton levels of stunning destructiveness. Listening to the EP, it’s very easy to imagine that you’ve been teleported straight into an alien war zone where advanced technologies are being deployed with both machine-like precision and breathtaking ferocity.
The advance press refers to such inspirations as Morbid Angel (circa Formulas Fatal to the Flesh) and Despise the Sun-era Suffocation, but the ingredients of the music are even more far-ranging, and include both progressive and jazz-fusion-inspired lead guitar and one stunning surprise in the track which sits dead-center on this five-song EP.
“Razed Earth Edict” is a breathtaking introduction to the EP. It erupts in jet-fueled drum blasting and massively heavy undulating riffs, whose sound is like a hybrid of merciless cruelty and obliterating derangement. You get an early dose of voracious growls and soloing fireworks, and you’ll also experience shifts in the riffing that make it sound like a giant maddened hornet, and then a fashioning of blaring pain. The drumming shifts patterns too but remains turbocharged and brutalizing, and a second solo flickers and flares, creating both exotic visions and an experience of screaming ebullience. As a preview of what later songs will deliver in even more extravagant fashion, the track also includes a sequence of titanic stomping and lurching (accented by incredibly agile and acrobatic drumwork) that’s guaranteed to give your neck a workout.
The follow-on track, “Railgun Combat”, sounds very much like what you might expect from the song’s title, delivering an amalgam of thunderous bass, blazing and darting fretwork, and a body-mutilating, bullet-spitting drum attack. The song also delivers a fire-bright, spiraling solo augmented by bone-smashing, piston-driven grooves, rabid vocals that explode from growls to screams, and a second solo that sounds like a crazed air-raid siren.
And then you’ll come to that big surprise in the middle of the EP. It’s obviously there to let listeners catch a few breaths, but it’s far from mere filler. “Hypersleep Dementia” is a sublime instrumental (backed by a bouncing bass line) whose glittering and dancing guitars (joined by a violin performance by Ally Storch) are as light and effervescent as the rest of the EP is apocalyptic.
But after that breather, Black Hole Deity launch us right back into a war zone with “Multiverse Incantations”, which does its level best to jackhammer the listener deep into the ground. The band interweave among those humongous pounding grooves flurries of frenetic fretwork, spine-tingling vocals, a freakishly squirming solo that rockets into the heavens, and another full dose of jaw-dropping drum fills and gut-churning bass lines.
The title track is also a merciless sonic pile-driver, but further includes riffage that’s both deep, cold, and drilling but also becomes a ruinous spasm. The riffing also sounds like heavy-caliber machine-gun discharges, and there’s yet another fantastical guitar solo, once again backed by a sequence of hyper-speed drumming spectacles.
Hell, the whole EP is a spectacle! We hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
Lair Of Xenolich was produced and mixed by Mike Heller at Heaven and Heller Studios in L.A. Credit for the logo and memorable cover art go to Chris Kiesling (Misanthropic Art).
Everlasting Spew will release the record on CD and digital formats, and recommends it for fans of Morbid Angel, Azarath, Mithras, Hate Eternal, and Vader.
BLACK HOLE DEITY: