Xeper – “Ad Numen Satanae” (Soulseller Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Formed in 2007 in Treviso, Italy by guitarist Guh.Lu, best known as former member of international bands such as Setherial, Impiety and currently the bass player of Gorgoroth, Xeper have released 3 prior full-length albums, along with a split release and a compilation. Continuing their journey into full black metal darkness, “Ad Numen Satanae” also features Maelstrom (Ilemauzar, Lūmenwood, Nexus, Sanzu, Silent Knight, Ur Draugr, Wardaemonic, Incantation (live), Morphica (live), DeathFuckingCunt, ex-Avantgard, ex-Beyond Terror Beyond Grace, ex-The Fourth Eye, ex-Impact Winter, ex-Divine Codex (live), ex-Impiety (live), ex-Xenobiotic (live), ex-Obscenium (live)) on vocals and V. Einride (Whoredom Rife) on drums, along with guest musicians like Blasphemer (Vltimas, ex-Mayhem) and Mantus (Patria). Recorded across the distance from Trondheim (Norway) to Perth (Australia), the 7 tracks here speak bounds in reflecting the band’s name, which means ‘I Have Come into Being’. Blast beating in frantically amid blinding snare work and frostbitten screamo, the catchy fretboard scalings add the class to songs like ‘The Hidden Genesis’, and as the tempo slows to allow its blackness to creep upon you through heavy bass and evil melodies, the hellish speed is once again unleashed through double bass pedals galloping intensely to its apocalyptic finale. Crashing in through massive waves of decadent riffing on ‘Under The Will Of Satan’, the guitars are as raw as the icy screamo added to by haunting wailings, and while the tempo is initially slower, the percussion remains intense as well as complex, attesting to the superior musicianship on show here, as indeed throughout this impressive album. Ending viciously in ‘Ad Numen Satanae’, the whirring guitars lend to an old school black death style, confirmed by the blasphemous screamo and hollow roars accompanying the stampeding drums, although the interesting twist is that this is only half the song, with the remainder returning to the ambient mix of strummed bass glimmered by tranquil melodies in bringing to a close this brilliant 4th release.