California's Xanthochroid have returned with a new recording that continues their epic and melodic style of cinematic black metal and this is a review of their 2017 album "Of Earth And Axen Act II" which was also self released through their own label.
Symphonic sounding keyboards start off the album and they also mix in with the heavier and melodic side of the songs while all of the musical instruments have a very powerful sound to them while clean playing and operatic clean vocals are also added into certain sections of the recording.
Black metal screams are also a very huge part of the recording while a great portion of the tracks are very long and epic in length while the faster sections of the songs also bring in a decent amount of blast beats along with the music also getting very progressive and avant garde at times as well as some songs also bringing in a small amount of acoustic guitars and as the album progresses a brief use of female vocals can be heard and one song also adds in a small amount of flutes and death metal growls.
On this recording Xanthochroid goes into more of an avant garde and progressive direction while still mixing in elements of black metal, the production sounds very professional while the lyrics cover their own self created lore and fantasy themes.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Xanthochroid and if you are a fan of avant garde black metal, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Of Aching, Empty Pain" "Walk With Me, O Winged Mother" and "Toward Truth And Reconciliation". 8 out of 10.