Album Review: Xanadoo – Black. Death. Grind. Shit!

Black. Death. Grind. Shit!
Full Length
Thrash Metal/Crossover

Black. Death. Grind. Shit! is Xanadoo’s latest output and the band’s debut full-length album. Consisting of 8 tracks, this album clocks under 30 minutes, of which 6 are tracks that are re-recorded versions of their previous 2 demos, Blood is Dirt and This Demo is Shit.

The album opens with an instrumental track, World of Xanadoo, which is one of the 2 new tracks on this album. The other new song is Subterranean Hemorrhoid which begins with a slick guitar solo, somehow the riffs after that reminds me of some of Iron Maiden’s riffs (something like 2 Minutes to Midnight) with Xanadoo’s own touch.

As with the previous albums, their lyrics are tongue-in-cheek, often having other meanings behind what may seem to be random ramblings. Production quality is very polished, if you are a fan of the previous 2 demos mentioned (Blood is Dirt, This Demo is Shit), it might take a bit of getting used to. Personally, on first listen the guitars sounded too loud, almost drowning out the vocals compared to the previous recordings where everything was loud, but just nice.

Zak’s vocals are reminiscent of Kreator’s Mille Petrozza (at least to me!). If you have already heard This Demo is Shit, the performance on this album is an advancement of his vocal styling, on some songs it sounds almost like he’s spitting out the words in fury! Some of the solos on the songs are also changed and improvised, adding a different touch compared to the originals.

Another thing that was noted as well was how the re-recorded songs sounded like sped up versions of the original songs (most almost shortened by half a minute!). For example, Blood is Dirt’s original run length was 4:06 but on the album it clocks at only 3:36. The speedy guitar solos, bass lines and drumming all blend into a fury of music that is this Black. Death. Grind. Shit!

I particularly loved the album art and visual concepts, which was a cut-and-paste one; somewhat similar to the album art concept of This Demo is Shit, only taken to another level. Throughout the album, lyrics written by the band were torn out and pasted on a black background, such as Shiva’s trademark Death logo on the Plague of Mankind’s lyrics, sometimes making it hard to find each of the band member’s mark on my copy of the album (signed in silver marker)!

Overall a fun and enjoyable listen, highly recommended for fans of crossover/thrash metal and of course fans of Xanadoo’s previous outputs. If you haven’t heard of Xanadoo, then as the band mentions, “Get this album because it contains songs from both our previous demos!” But if you want to hear for yourself how they have progressed, grab both their previous demos as well!

Xanadoo on MySpace.

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hongrui 

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