xothRead that album title again….”Invasion Of The Tentacube”.

Maybe it’s due to being a grumpy 45 year old but I’m not usually a fan of ‘comedy metal’. There’s a place for humour but I don’t necessarily want it shoved in my face. I won’t lie….. I thought “oh here we go again” when the Boss sent me this debut album from Seattle’s Xoth. I had visions of another ‘Bursa Lamb’ type nosebleed coming on.

Dumb concept, high camp, sci-fi death metal…. Great…. Cheers Pete. The sleeve art compounded this feeling of negativity as did the title of the first track….”Tentacles Of Terror”.

I was not full of hope.

However this ain’t too bad.

Xoth kick out some decent blackened death metal with technical edge and some really catchy tunes. The vocals of Tyler Splurgis (yes, I know) are gargling old school black metal in style but this, strangely, suits the songs well.

Musically the band are tight as you like and there’s a variety of ‘stuff’ here. ‘Digital Mausoleum’ has a real Iron Maiden vibe to it, ‘Ancient Sentient Ooze’ is very Skeletonwitch and ‘Universal Death’ is really progressive. Credit to these lads, they know what they’re doing and do it well, lots of catchy melodies – I keep finding myself humming ‘Tentacles Of Terror’ – and key changes, kinda like a Happy Shopper Obscura….but more fun!

Special shout out to bass player Ben Bennett, his playing is fantastic throughout and his slap / jazz style is a really prominent highlight for me.

Definitely worth a look

(7/10 Mark Eve)