There are very few albums that cause as much conflict in my thoughts as the second Xoth album titled Interdimensional Invocations did. It’s a very well crafted record that does everything right, yet still leaves me unsure how to feel. But I guess that’s a sign of a very worthwhile release. Mostly, it’s a blackened death metal effort that dips its feet into the pool of progressive and advanced dynamics, but man can it be tough to swallow!
It should come as no surprise that complex time signatures and key changes make up a lot of the lining. Clean production is usually guaranteed to come along as a side order; but the two work well together here, despite my usual distaste for overly-polished finishing. Hell, now and then Xoth will even allow some hardcore chugging to slip in, and even that didn’t sway my opinion one way or the other. To top it all off, we’re given that famous science fiction theme, holding a decent amount of memorability in the writing.
The most fuming and aggressive songs make themselves stand out with the black metal drumming and picking styles. But the vocals and riff sequences keep it nice and steady between that and the death metal digs. “Plague Revival 20XX” takes all of that and establishes a feeling of incoming terror. “Unseen Abductor” amazingly kicks out a lot of fun despite relying heavily on these styles, mostly due to the strong hook before the vocals come in.
As a matter of fact, Interdimensional Invocations lets on melodic passages as well despite never allowing clean singing to make an appearance. “Mountain Machines” is one of the tastiest numbers here since it resides heavily on the melodic end of the spectrum. I’d even go as far as to say that the soloing and riff-work resemble power metal just a bit. The record closer “Melted Face Of The Soul” is oddly soothing in some areas, which threw me off even more. That contradicts just about everything else.
Really, I appreciate the hell out of this album because it isn’t overly long nor overdone, unlike a lot of Xoth’s tech-death siblings. The riffs are reinforced with slapping bass and beefy writing, and even though I can’t tell how well it’s going to sit with me in the long run, I’m glad I found it. Very much a worthwhile spin if you dig the technical sci-fi type death metal groups.
Interdimensional Invocations will be released on October 18th, 2019 independently. Pre-order the CD or buy a T-shirt right over at their Bandcamp page.