EP Review: Hate Monolith by Xenobiotic (Unique Leader)

Perth, Western Australia, based progressive death metallers, Xenobiotic are back with a new EP titled Hate Monolith. Hate Monolith will be released on the 2nd of September via Unique Leader.

Xenobiotic exploded onto the scene with a strong debut album titled Prometheus, following that up with their earth shatteringly destructive sophomore album ‘Mordrake’, unleashed globally through Unique Leader Records. Following the release of ‘Mordrake’, March 2020, Xenobiotic faced that common but most unfortunate of circumstance for a band, they released an album at the start of the Covid pandemic.

While it was a time where the band could not continue on its journey of devastating audiences around the world through touring, Xenobiotic did however sign a partnership with New York based leading international heavy music agency, Extreme Management Group, joining a roster alongside other icons of brutality Suffocation, Cattle Decapitation, Cryptopsy, Origin and more.

During this time the band would not be stopped, continuing to write and record which has led to the band’s new EP, ‘Hate Monolith’. Mixed and mastered by renowned Cryptopsy guitarist and producer, Christian Donaldson (Ingested, Beyond Creation, The Agonist) with art by Giannis Nakos at Remedy Design (Suffocation, Evergrey, The Agonist) the EP continues to see Xenobiotic tear open ears with maniacal, emotive and progressive death metal brutality and expansive, darkened soundscapes.

Xenobiotic are Nish Raghavan and Cam Moore on guitars, TJ Sinclair on vocals, Mikey Godwin on drums and David Finlay on the bass.

Xenobiotic Hate Monolith EP line up
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Hate Monolith brings the metal over five new tracks starting with Autophagia. A track that takes no prisoners with it’s instant assault of vicious vocals and crushing riffs. Vocals are delivered at 100 mph and have a nice mix of tones, some standard but powerful death metal growls and a more hardcore like backing shout that just offsets it a bit. The technical edge to the guitars is prominent as is the metallic tinge to the machine like drumming. It’s a good introduction to Hate Monolith and to Xenobiotic showcasing immense heaviness and just a touch of catchiness too.

The Wretched Strive keeps the heaviness coming with a darkened tone. That speedy vocal delivery with a nice mix of deathly growls and higher shrieks works very well over some headbanging rhythms. The drums are top quality and the riffs hammer home with a thick and bassy darkness. Little stops transition the song between sections that sit firmly in the extreme metal camp before we head back to more rhythmic, yet still destructive heaviness. Nether is track 3, a short sub 3 minute number, that has a sombre melodic intro before it explodes into stomping, grooving heaviness. Impressive vocal power and intense drum blasts really make you take notice. 

The penultimate track is titled Pathos and is a much longer song at 6 and a half minutes. Of course it is heavy, extreme in parts with more insanely impressive vocals on display mixing up tones, pitches and keeping things fresh. Intense riffing, insane drumming – it’s all here and works well. A wonderful little solo adds a bit of additional magic to a strong song that has plenty of exciting moments, plenty of speed sections, plenty of thicker, headbanging sections. It is probably just stretched a minute longer than it needs to be to stop it eventually sounding repetitive.

Ending Hate Monolith, as it began, Xenobiotic explode into brutality with the closing track, Sever the Ties. A firm favourite of mine, I love the guitars that add the touch of melody behind the vicious attack of the vocals. The verses are ridiculous in speed, power and aggression and that makes the chorus stand out even further. It’s a banger on an album of absolutely killer music. Intensely heavy, extreme and aggressive with little to no respite from the attack. Hate Monolith is an angry album and you get that message and feeling from the first note to the last. 

Xenobiotic are a talented bunch with powerhouse vocals and insane drumming really standing out amongst the talent. Hate Monolith sees them carry on their upward trend here with a strong release that should make shockwaves around the metal community when the EP drops. Great stuff and one of the heaviest releases you are likely to hear this year.

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Hate Monolith by Xenobiotic (Unique Leader)
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