Saturday, 16 January 2016

Xothogua – you wont reach shore (2013) / 75%

Canadian doom tape triptych part 3 : Montréal, QC

Xothogua were a pretty secretive Montréal band who broke up last year. I had the chance to see them two or three times including a very cool evening with Ensorcelor and Show of Bedlam (they shared the bassist at the time) where I got a tape of this recording. Their sound is quite original and I was sad to hear that the band ended before exploring it in more details.

The half hour release is divided between two fifteen minutes movements, both encompassing their multifaceted style mixing stoner metal, sludge, doom metal, crust, hardcore and post rock (???). It's highly atmospheric and features a wide variety of vocal styles. The ones of Devo, a woman, are full of spite and venom when she screams and she's also using clean vox (especially on Washer at the Ford”) but there's also some male vocals here and there to emphasise certain moments. The calm, atmospheric parts are well done and quite introspective, it's a good representation of how their live performances were. It's loud, massive and doesn't mess around. It has the right amount of heavier parts intertwined with calm but still oppressing bits.

The production isn't quite good but it's nuanced and airy enough to fit their songs and give them a live feeling. It would had been cool to hear something done with a bit more cash thrown into it but it didn't seem like their thing anyway. Their sole full length is amateurish but that's not always a bad thing, it's interesting and has this crossover appeal between metal and hardcore. It's free (or pay what you can) on Bandcamp so support a dead band!

The artwork is also pretty glorious!

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