Into the Void Records USA [PERMANENTLY CLOSED]

St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)

Death Metal Monday, A to Z: XENOMORPH

typical omahansHowdy 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.



2 comments on “Death Metal Monday, A to Z: XENOMORPH

  1. passenger
    May 5, 2015

    “thanks for hanging out”
    The pleasure is all mine.

    I admit I was wondering whether you would spotlight Xysma or Xenomorph.
    However, there are two great Xenomorphs. The one you mentioned, is a classic rarity that is known among hardcore maniacs.
    The other one, is from Netherlands, and they were popular in the early 00s.

    I first have heard about the US one, though.

    One thing I wonder is how they managed to release the album, as they used the famous alien character on their cover, and I don’t think they had the rights to do so. Not only that, I am surprised that all of the re-releases of this album also use that cover art. Maybe someone can shed some light on this matter?
    Or maybe no one notified the big fishes. It reminds me of another cult classic band,
    Hardware – Souls Vortex (google them and you will recognize that cover instantly for sure).

    Hardware used a page from a Hellraiser comic published by Epic comics (sub-division of marvel). Interestingly enough, they did it less than month since that particular issue from which they used art was published, which is strange given that they are from deep Mexico, and there are minor differences between their version and the marvel one. Something to investigate for sure. Also, no one ever send them cease and desist letters, or worse, and relapse records are probably still selling re-releases of their EP.

    I feel like I started a long discussion, however, I wanted only to applaud your choice.

    Now, the only worthy band I know starting on the letter Y, is from a small country named Poland. And they are actually well known in metal circles.

    I’m trying to not spoil, however, I wonder if you could surprise me.
    One thing for sure, I am very curious about the next two installments.
    And I am sad, because they will be the last ones.

    And of course, great review. I didn’t notice the connections myself, and I’m supposed to be knowledgeable…

    • Neil
      May 8, 2015

      XYSMA was the obvious choice so I had to throw the curveball. Double-dip curveball with the American one!

      Not sure about the copyright being dodged save for the underground nature as you guessed. There are plenty of questionable uses that seem to pass unnoticed. Remember VONDUR’s first album, with Darth Vader and an army of Stormtroopers streaming through his legs? Hilariously that is one that got caught and had to settle for a cover with the logo only. Lucasfilms probably has really good lawyers. Maybe Necropolis Records being almost being Lucas’s neighbors had something to do with it too.

      I knew you would sense my Y choice way in advance! I can’t think of much else either, but now I want to try just to see what I can come up with. It certainly won’t be something I’ve heard much.

      Don’t worry mate…XYZ will not spell the end of reviews, only this format. As long as the store is around I’ll keep posting. Thanks again for the kind words and cheers!

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