28 Jan 2023

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Xile - Album Review: I Am Your God

09 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Last weekend I was at Whammy Bar in Auckland to see the album release show for Xile’s I Am Your God. Thanks to a certain pandemic this album almost slipped out with people not realising, as it was released in May 2020 back when everyone in NZ was in lockdown. The guys never had the opportunity to tour it at the time, something they have rectified in 2022 with a nationwide tour, bringing the brutality to the masses. But back then the band had been through major changes and had been reduced to singer Luke Manson, who composed all the material and also provided guitars, and bassist Lee Waddingham while Thy Art drummer Lee Stanton was a guest.

This is one nasty album, showing that Slayer in particular have had a major impact on their overall sound, being way more metallic than most hardcore bands. There is incredible depth to this, built around death-style double kick drums, guitars and bass locked in tight, and then hardcore gruff vocals over the top. One can certainly imagine fans of Cannibal Corpse getting a lot from this, as it is relentless and punishing throughout. If ever an album was designed to get the mosh going, then this is it, with the ten tracks blasting past in just 25 minutes. It certainly never sounds like a duo, as this is a powering monster which is brutal, and playing this, I can visualize what I experienced last week when the audience were a sweaty mess and the mosh was full on.

This is so savage it is almost primeval, with the production deliberately kept raw so one can feel the edge, and Luke putting his very being on the line. It feels incredibly personal, with Luke giving it his all on the vocals and Lee W and Lee S creating the platform for the guitars. There is a great deal going on in here, with death metal mixing with breakdown, taking hardcore in a very different direction from many others in the scene, while some of the twin guitar licks are quite black metal in nature. They are taking the more brutal elements from different genres and then combining them in a way which ensures everything is pushed to the max, to the extreme. Now the pandemic is over, and Xile have become a fully-fledged supergroup, let’s hope the new line-up get into the studio soon and record the next savage chapter as this is one heck of a debut and I am sure they are only going to get more ferocious as they keep touring.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Xile

Xile are a heavy hardcore band from Grafton, New Zealand. While holding fast to a style reminiscent of their country’s most aggressive hardcore bands (The Burial, Promise of Bloodshed, Antagonist A.D.), the 5 piece blend in flavours of European beatdown (Nasty, Malevolence, Desolated) to create their own guttural, yet polished, sound.

The vocal message is clear, from religious discontent to the violent state of our modern world, mixed in with darker lyrics of Slayer-influenced murderous escapades.

The music behind the lyrics is aggressive and relentless. There is no shortage of riffage here – technicality is matched with half-time simplicity by vocalist Luke and guitarist Simon the bands primary songwriters. The death-metal background of drummer Jai is also evident, with his technical prowess holding down the rhythm section through the entire release.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Xile


I Am Your God
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Grafton EP
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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