Album Reviews

Xector – Beyond Oblivion

  • Review by: Vilasini Muralidhar

Remember Spitfire? They are back, but in a new and improved avatar. This time, they call themselves Xector. It might have taken them around four years and a few line-up changes, but they’ve returned with a different sound that reflects their maturity and experience as musicians.

The EP is titled ‘Beyond Oblivion’ and consists of four tracks:

  1. Wild Impulse
  2. Shadow of God
  3. Delirium
  4. The Great Sorrow

The album opens with “Wild Impulse”. The first thing to strike any familiar metal listener is that the vocalist’s style hasn’t changed since his Spitfire days. The song misses out on the critical initial punch, but grabs attention a little more than a minute later. The main riff lacks retention quality, but drums are noteworthy. The bridge is probably the only section of the song that stands out in the entire four-odd minutes.

“Shadow” has quite an Arch Enemy like introduction, and leads into a typical melodic-death riff. (When I say “typical”, I am purely referring to the style of guitars). Pattern changes and grooves lead into a section of guitar melodies, which are very well done. However, the transition back to the rest of the track isn’t very smooth, and if you have a ear for the details, the jump seems abrupt. That doesn’t take away from the song being intense and arresting however, which leaves me wondering why this wasn’t used as the opening track on the EP.

Following “Shadow” on ‘Beyond Oblivion’ is one of the longer tracks on the EP, titled “Delirium”. It has a pretty theatric black metal beginning, reminiscent of church chants. But as the song progresses, a strong thrash element is evident. The track has a delicious, long guitar solo that doubles its score in my grade book. It ends with sound theatrics similar to the introduction, and leads into the final track- “The Great Sorrow”. Guitars steal the show on this final one, and it makes a perfect conclusion to the album.

On first listen, ‘Beyond Oblivion’ doesn’t make Xector seem like the next big thing in Indian metal. But after a few listens, the songs do grow on you. Xector may have changed their sound, but shades of Spitfire haven’t been completely done away with. Vocals seem thin, and might lack the depth that is expected from metal vocalists. But you can also say that Charan has developed his signature technique, and you easily get accustomed to it as you listen to the CD. It also greatly contributes to the band’s identity. Ashutosh, Suhas and Parik give the EP its melodic essence, and drummer Arjun gives the music a strong, double bass backing. In all, the formula works, and Xector makes a decent debut. Not perfect, but still impressive.

Rating: 7 / 10

Check out Xector on their Reverbnation page. Check out the promo for ‘Beyond Oblivion’ below: