Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nebraska Metal Pt. 4: Xenomorph: Empyreal Regimes

Well, well, well. What do we have here? There's a couple of reasons I picked this up.
1) Old school progressive/technical death metal band that was recommended on the Metal Archives boards;
2) Picture of the Alien on the cover (and obviously the band is named after the Alien), my favorite movie monster; and
3) Band from my home state of Nebraska. Omaha, more particularly.

So, is it any good? Oh, hell yes. It's extremely hard to believe that this came from Nebraska in 1995. It's like finding a fully formed fish in rock dating back to the Precambrian age. Quite the nerdy analogy, true, but it's apt. There is absolutely no way that this could have evolved out of Nebraska, because the state has not really had anything like it, before or since. It is like it came out of nowhere.

This is technical and filthy death metal. The production quality is fantastic, with a beefy sound which emphasizes every sick riff and snarled vocal. It sounds absolutely great, yet again, completely out of nowhere because this was not released on a big label, or even a medium-sized one. It just has a great sound that cannot be readily explained.

The music owes a lot to groups like Morbid Angel, Death, and Immolation, with a little more of a technical riffing style and more progressive song structure. The guitar riffs have the same otherworldly feel to them as Morbid Angel's. The leads sound more like something the late Chuck Schuldiner would have produced, with a strong tone, they are like the only light in an otherwise dark and dank room. The album creeps along like some Lovecraftian horror, slimy and cold. The drumming is intense and powerful, the bass rumbling along at the pace of the guitars.

There are frequent samples, which consist mostly of clips from horror movies. They go very well with the general sound of the album. Each of the songs is generally a little long, none of them being less than five minutes, but with the intricate and ever-changing song structures, things never drag.

As for the vocals, they sound like a slightly more malevolent, but overall not as deep version of David Vincent's vocals from the first few Morbid Angel albums. The vocals sound seriously unhinged and psychotic.

Like a fully-formed fish found in Precambrian rock, this twisted slab of progressive/technical death metal that puts many other bands even from the same time period to shame emerged out of the metal wasteland of Omaha, Nebraska. It's really extraordinary. It's a shame this band was not able to stay around and that so few people have been exposed to it.


  1. I will definitely have to try to find that one. That sounds incredible.

    On a side note, though, I wonder how HR Giger would feel about that. I recently got a book of his art and commentary, and one thing he complained about was people appropriating his art, which apparently happens a lot. Obviously that's not his actual artwork, but a character he created, so in that sense it could be copyright infringement. It may also be trademark infringement, if not a claim by Giger then a claim for whoever owns the rights to the franchise.

  2. Where in the heck did you find this? I checked all my normal sources and then some, and the closest thing I can find is a Dutch band by the same name.

  3. It's almost impossible to find a physical copy of it because it was so obscure. You can find a download of it if you search specifically for it. I think I heard there are plans to reissue it, but no definite date.

    As for the infringement issue. I used to read Aliens comics and I'm pretty sure this is an image from one of those, so the initial artwork is probably okay. I'm not sure whether the band had permission from this artist though.