Of Erthe and Axen: Act II
Erthe and Axen
Masters of musical story telling
With the release of the second part for 'Of Erthe and Axen', I was very excited to see what Act II held in store and how it differed from Act I.
I was really pleased with the continuation of the story and felt that Act II was more tense and dynamic in the unfolding of the story plot. The songs are just as high quality as they are in Act I and this one features a bit more of the black metal vocals throughout. I did miss the female vocals that were a big highlight from Act I and hopefully they will utilize those going forward as I feel it really adds some depth and dynamism to the overall feel of the band. The music tends to be a bit more epic on this release, given that it is the second act and they're building to what I presume is a close. I don't know if an Act III is in the works or not but if this is where this portion of the story stops, it leaves you hanging precariously on the cliff's edge, straining to maintain your fingerhold and not slip into oblivion.
The biggest gripe that I have with Act II is the vocal layering is so heavy and so low in the overall production that I wouldn't have been able to make out any of the portions where the vocals are being delivered simultaneously with the big symphonic pieces. If there's no bombastic music or large symphonic arrangements taking place at the same time, you can make out the vocals pretty well but even still, not having a lyric sheet will really make it a tough task.
Xanthochroid are masters of musical story telling and have once again delivered a solid release with 'Of Erthe and Axen: Act II'. So go out and get both Acts and prepare to become immersed and engrossed in the world of Xanthochroid's creation.