St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
Howdy all. Thanks for hanging in there for the long-overdue X edition of Death Metal Monday. We’re going to stay right in the American heartland with Omaha, Nebraska’s XENOMORPH and their solitary long player Empyreal Regimes from 1995.
For a Midwestern US city of its size Omaha is bereft of most metal for whatever reason, so to find a classy representation of mid-90s death metal hailing from there is a pleasant surprise much like OSSUARY INSANE was (is?) for the Twin Cities area. XENOMORPH, however, are not a completely independent underground phenomenon as bassist Bill Taylor (aka Beguiling Tempter) has had a long stint on guitar with IMMOLATION and served briefly as axe-slinger with ANGELCORPSE when they were still based in nearby Kansas City.
I don’t suspect that last fact is pure coincidence. I pick up a lot of ORDER FROM CHAOS (pre-ANGELCORPSE) in Empyreal Regimes in its penchant for choppy mid-paced delivery, commanding, raspy vocals and thrashy interludes. The typical bloodied or fire-breathing XENOMORPH band photo from the time tells a similar tale of adulation. And not to be cheap, but IMMOLATION isn’t a bad comparison either when the pace picks up in dissonant fury. XENOMORPH fall in that charming category of “death metal messy,” and although too challenging for daily enjoyment, they create a unique and atmospheric product worthy of an occasional thoughtful listen. Anybody who remembers death metal’s struggles for relevance in the mid-1990s, or who enjoys the novelty of metal’s regional flavors, is sure to find something here to appreciate.
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