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X-COPS (USA)

Members of Gwar have gotten together with two ex-members fo Rigor Mortis for the recording of this corey/groovy tribute to the 90's whcih is served in a more jocund merrier form with obvious traces of the good old retro crossover mostly reflected in the shorter more direct tracks. Otherwise the guys also "flirt" with stoner/doom ("Your Mother") and classic heavy metal ("Paddy Wagon Rape") plus adding a not bad individualistic steam-roller cover of Deep Purple's "Highway Star". The singer, who is none other but Sheriff "Tubb" Tucker, both an x-Gwar and Rigor Mortis member, quarrels throughout with a forceful semi-declamatory tone.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent... Full-Length, 1995

Official Site

X-CRETA (BELGIUM)

Speed metal meets thrash/crossover on this album producing very wild music as a result; the band plays quite fast most of the time, but the overall sound is not heavy or brutal, with vocals which sound like a cross between Schmier and Tom Angelripper. Early Bathory with a pinch of crossover would be a good description.

Patronizing the Heterodox Full-length, 1986

Vibrations of Doom

X-HATRED (BRAZIL)

Modern thrash metal with progressive/technical tendencies, at least in the beginning; the album develops in an energetic pace well expressed on the short intense opener "Filthy Pride" which may annoy you with the "gruff/husky" vocal duel which will be the dominant one, unfortunately. Not much technical stuff happening on this one, but "New Nightmare" is already a more elaborate, and more satisfying, affair despite the obvious loss of speed. "Intermittent Happiness" provides intriguing dry, mechanical technical thrash with a nice faster twist at the end. "Sacred Liar" is an emblematic Swedish melodic thrasher, but "Current Facts" hardens the course moving the sound a bit towards the classic school as well. The technicality has almost completely disappeared up to this point, and the band settles for a slow/fast track alternation till the end turning the album into an average offering of the Gothenburg school.

All Pages Burned Full-Length, 2010

X-MANTRA (NEPAL)

Based on "Crying for Peace", this Hymallaian act offers modern post-thrash of the doomy type which gets wild at times ("Bhasan"), but few are the deviations from the monotonous sleepy pace which is assisted by hoarse semi-clean vocals. This is "peaceful" (but not really "crying") stuff with heavy abrasive guitars.

Crying for Peace Full-length, 2003
Kurshi Full-length, 2004

X-METHOD (USA)

This is direct, intense, "sexy alcoholic" modern thrash which borders on groovy post-thrash at times, and there are a few good attempts at the ballad the latter ruined by the rough semi-shouty vocals which are otherwise fitting to the more aggressive material. Still, ""Waiting 4 the Rain" is a really good emotional ballad overshadowing the more dynamic cuts among which "Trianglesand 6's" is a cool steam-rolling number contrasting with the couple of fast-paced hardcore-ish tracks in the 2nd half.

Sex Alcohol Rebel Music Full-Length, 2016

X-PULSSION (FINLAND)

4 guys from Helsinki indulging in crunchy modern power/thrash which aims at catchiness and playful riffage. The dominant mid-paced approach may tire at some stage as well as the inexpressive gruff semi-clean vocals. The heavy stoner/doomy semi-ballad "Leather Demon" is an expected addition whereas the short speedy headbanger "Fucked Her Good" near the end would be a surprise. This is peaceful feelgood stuff which needs a bit of refinement (the closing overlong uneventful instrumental "The Last Judgement" just one example) before grasping more fans for the hearts.

Dying Legacy Full-length, 2011

Official Site

X-RAY (GERMANY)

This is the 3rd incarnation of the thrash metal veterans Backwater; after releasing one album under the name Tai-Pan, they decided to pay tribute to the modern 90's trends, and here comes this offering which is the guys' lowest point by a long shot. This is pedestrian groovy post-thrash at its least imaginative despite several heavier intense sections ("LD 50") scattered around. Later some of the band members continued their career in the power metallers Chinchilla.

Dehumanized Full-length, 1996

X-SEED (UK)

Mark Duffy, the man who earlier sang for Toranaga and Major Threat, has surrendered to the modern vogue, playing with his new formation your average groovy post-thrash, slow and clumsy with no surprises whatsoever. He would be a bit hard to recognize, though, since he has adjusted his singing to the music delivering in a gruff angry manner, not miles away from Jan-Chris De Koeijer (Gorefest).

Desolation Full-length, 1996

My Space

X-TINXION (HOLLAND)

Based on the "Twisting The Knife" demo, this is fairly cool bombastic speed/thrash metal which recalls quite a few heroes from the 80's: Paradox's "Heresy", Vio-lence, Forbidden, among others. The guitars acquire quite a technical edge on some parts, and combined with the mostly speedy riffs, make for a great headbanging fun. These guys are destined to reach far.

The band's productivity is not the biggest in the world, and a 5-song EP comes out after a lengthy 5-year break. There will be no disappointed again since the guys don't betray their blitzkrieg style lashing fast and tight the whole time with Paradox's "Heresy" again being the main influence introducing the odd slower stomping break ("Genetic Sickness", "The New Hive"). The guitars adhere to quite cool memorable melodies more often this time, and the singer delivers with his switch from mid-ranged semi-clean to gruffer death metal-tinged vocals managing to come up with a couple of nice catchy choruses in a way again similar to Paradox.
"From the Ashes of Eden" is finally a fact, and the band are intent on conquering the scene with this intricate blend of modern and classic speed/thrash which on the opening "Amalgamation" even shows signs of catchiness with the inclusion of very good clean vocals. "Survivors of Hell" is a hard-hitting shredder before "Severed from Heaven" epitomizes a more moderate approach with shades of progressive. "Genetic Sickness" brings back the speed/thrashing melee with a more pronounced participation of the clean vocals; and "Uniformity" gloriously reminds of the 90's power/speed metal scene with its soaring rhythms. The highly energetic saga carries on in the 2nd half "Destruct & Reanimate" and "The Divine" leading the pack there both being impetuous headbangers with nice memorable melodic hooks. The band have acquitted themselves with aplomb here, and surely they have other tricks up their sleeves which they will expose us to in the days to come.

Twisting The Knife Demo, 2005
Act The Injured Innocent EP, 2010
From the Ashes of Eden Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

X-VISION (FRANCE)

Based on the debut full-length, this band pulls out heavy groovy post-thrash with a couple of sudden grinding outbursts and also sudden, but to a lesser effect, doom-laden ones. The music is dynamic and jumpy in the beginning, but later on loses the interesting moments, and settles down for one-dimensional repetitive riffs with a few reminders of Pantera's former glories ("Close Yourself").

[Confused] EP, 2002
Time of the New Slavery Full-length, 2004
So Close, So Far Full-length, 2007

Official Site

X,Y,Z (CZECH)

Based on the "Uncommon Space" demo, this is very well executed, quite unusual as well, progressive thrash/death with a lot of atmosphere mingling with the compplex riff-patterns which are along the lines of Death, Pestilence, and Alarum. The song-structures are quite unconventional the atmospheric undercurrents stylishly intercepting the mazey guitar tapestries. "Delusion of Senses" introduces keyboard sections which stay around later including on the weird funkism "UnOrdinary Pictures" and the spacey eclectic closer "I Am Reviving" which shakes hands with Spastic Ink and Spiral Architect. The singer changes his style from semi-shouty/semi-death croons to cleaner more emotional tones.
The "Nature of Soul" demo continues the progressive saga first in a melodic bombastic manner with the opening "The 4th Verse of Lord Caitanya", later in a creepy diverse way with "Siksasthaka: The 5th Verse of Lord Caitanya". "Madness" is a superb technical piece with a great lead section and a few atmospheric "decorations" at the end where a piano tune sneaks in. Wild shredding thrash/death awaits you on the short surreal hecticer "No Lamentation (Reincarnation)", whereas the title-track is more on the abstract Coroner's "Grin" side with a few pounding quasi-groovisms inserted. "Sri Nrsinhadeva" wraps it up with an exiting portion of fast raging and milder spacey moments intertwined in an engaging provocative manner, another display of high level musicianship which is also evident in the other bands the guys used to play: the doom metallers Monastery, and the progressive death metal weirdos Forgotten Silence.

Uncommon Space Demo, 1999
Nature of Soul Demo, 2002

Official Site

X3MO (ARGENTINA)

These Argentinians pull out heavy seismic power/thrash, which is both classic and modern-sounding on occasion, with thundering riffage which evolves in mid-pace for most of the time graced by a couple of more melodic guitar lines. The singer has a mean semi-screamy voice which has a strong sinister flavour and suits the musical delivery all over. "Desperación" is a nice melodic cut dispersing "the dark clouds" above with more playful rhythms which later grow into the highly-charged closing doomster Tampra".

Devastacion EP, 2010

X RAPTOR (BRAZIL)

A very good young power/thrash metal band; the style reminds of the Swedes Fifth Reason and Morgana Lefay, but the Brazilians' music is more thrashier and crunchier, and generally more complex. The singer does a marvellous job covering all ranges: low growls, mid-ranged powerful tones (the predominant style), and some high-pitched shrieks. The predominant riffage is quite heavy and pounding, like on the opening "The Black Mirror", but the inclusion of short, but stylish leads, dissipate slightly the dark character of the music which could be considered a flaw by some. Later on the album picks more aggression and speed, offering really impressive tracks: the great intense thrasher "Pay the Price"; the jumpy, more technical "Burning Hate", which is not too far from Nevermore at their best; the excellent dark progressive/technical "Simulacra Simulation". The pounding steam-roller sound from the opener returns for "Hidden Mask of Existence", but with more interesting guitars. "Businesschrist" is not too far from this pattern, but the cool melodic lines and the nice soft, progressive-laced break in the middle, make it a standout track. This is a really impressive debut from the Brazilian metal scene where there are not many acts who play a similar kind of music right now.

God From The Machine Full-length, 2006

Official Site

XANADOO (SINGAPORE)

Based on the 3-song "Blood and Dirt" demo, this band plays straight retro speed/thrash metal taken directly from the early Destruction works. This is cool fast-paced stuff with the obligatory rolling Destruction-like riffs and the fierce uncompromising approach. No pauses for breaks, no unnecessary melodic deviations... thrash till death! And hey, guys, get rid of those awful computerized vocals on "Plague of Mankind", will you!
The hellish trio is finally able to come up with an offical full-length, and few will be the disappointed to hear this sincere slab of unadulterated old school thrash metal which is constantly fast even touching hardcore/crossover at times. But, seriously, the speed is really commendable, and is not far from the Japanese Fastkill or the Dutch Expulsion. Hats down for the excellent tribute to the early German school "Republic of Drones", or for the maddening ultra-speedster/proto-deathster "Plague Of Mankind", as well as for almost every other song. The guitar sound is a bit thin, though, and could be boosted up for the future. And the singer could use a more aggressive, more forceful tone: his voice is also thin lacking the energy which the music has in abundance.

Dome Made Demo Demo, 2006
Mindless Purge Demo, 2007
Blood Is Dirt Demo, 2008
Southeast War Thrashing Split, 2008
Black. Death. Grind. Shit! Full-length, 2010

My Space

XDECLARATIONX (UKRAINE)

These guys are typical representatives of the Swedish melo-death/thrash metal movement: think early Dark Tranquillity. The music is melodic and fast, apparently during the early stages, since later on the sound becomes slower with a shade of doom, and the faster sections are pure death metal. The singer is the staple vicious shrieker his rendings not so suitable for the doomy side.

Demos 2009-2009 Best Of Compilation, 2009

XENDRA (HONDURAS)

This act has ties to the most famous metal export from Honduras: Delirium. So expect similar radio-friendly post-thrash typical for the more recent works of the other band, generic and trite stuff which will be even more boring than the Delirium works because of the longer compositions where not much actually happens except for several lyrical romantic balladic variations. There are whole 16 songs here, but few will be those who would last beyond the 8th one.

Xendra Full-Length, 2000

My Space

XENOFANES (SWEDEN)

This band is the first attempt of the guitarist Danne Sporrenstrand to play more aggressive music, before joining Hypnosia a few years later. Based on the Split he, along with his colleagues, sounds quite convincing pulling out lengthy for the style death/thrash/black metal compositions with interesting stylish "decorations" ala early Therion and Nocturnus. "The Journey" is a nice semi-technical atmospheric death/thrasher, whereas "Deep Black Cold" is much more brutal leaving the more technical riffage far behind, lashing out with full force.
"Pissing in the Holy Grail": wow, the band have finally managed to release a full-length, and the listern will be immediately captured by the ephemeral technical "decorations" on the opening lasher "Soulthirst". Later on things become more straight-forward, but the engaging thrashing on "Spitfire Inferno" and "Mentally Damaged" will win the fans who will also a few more serious, black metal-decorated opuses ("Next Stop Purgatory", the colossal epic title-track at the end) where the mood and time shifts may make one lose the plot. The vocals are agonizing death metal ones, but their attached delivery ensures their being more than just an appendage.

In the Shadow of Naked Trees Demo, 1995
Promo Demo, 1996
Xenofanes/Cranial Dust Split, 1997
Pissing in the Holy Grail Full-Length, 2015

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XENOLITH OGER (JAPAN)

These guys are representatives of the more straight, less eclectic side of the Japanese thrash metal scene. The band's style is rough, not very appealing thrash, not very fast or aggressive either, which is highlighted by the stylish leads which sound almost surreal on the pounding monotonous background.

Cattle Brand Demo, 1989

XENOPHILE (USA)

A very pleasant surprise this way comes from the Longest Valley in New Jersey: state-of-the-art progressive/technical power/thrash which shoots everything in its way all the way to Helstar's legendary "Nosferatu", this album's long lost twin. "Systematic Enslavement Of Consciousness" is the expected meandering progressive opener, and the next "Absolution" is even more deeply immersed in atmospheric, progressive roamings. The romanticism left aside, the band start thrashing with full force with "Scorching The Skies" the edge partially lost again on the otherwise quite cool semi-balladic "Faceless Destiny". Guitar acrobatics galore will one come across on "Forgotten Holocaust", a virtuoso opus with a heavy rhythm section and puzzling technical decisions. "Heretic" is the direct ripper here, still pretty intricate; before the galloping power metal anthem "Fate Denied" tones it down, but just a bit. Hard brutal thrashing follows suit with "Suffer Unto Tyranny", not much sophistication here save for a portion of stylish melodic leads. Another galloping delight ("Hollow Corpse") is shot at close range paving the way for the encompassing closing 9-min saga "In The Ruins", a varied progressiver mixing fast aggressive passages with quiet, balladic ones topped by the great clean high-strung vocals which are the perfect "marriage" between Ski (Deadly Blessing) and Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass). One should welcome these young talents with open arms looking forward to hearing another glorious tribute to the good old past with a twist in the future.

Systematic Enslavement Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

XENOPHOBE (NEW ZEALAND)

Based on the full-length, this duo play modern post-thrash which isn't very exciting moving forward in a heavy mid-pace with several more interesting melodic variations ("Werewolf" which is the only faster number) including on the bit overlong heavy/power metal opening title-track. There isn't much diversity the singer being equally as indifferent with his hoarse nasal semi-clean croon.

Xenophobe EP, 2008
Lords of Chaos Full-length, 2009
Scum of the Earth EP, 2010

My Space

XENOPHOBIA (SINGAPORE)

These South-Asian "brutalizers" specialize in aggressive thrash/death which is constantly fast and remorseless with echoes of early Entombed and Unleashed. There's not much thrash to be savoured here, just vigorous death-laced barrage topped by very brutal shouty death metal vocals.

Doomsday Demo, 1990

XENOPHOBIA (SLOVENIA)

Based on the "Last Fragments Of Morbid Reality" demo, this band play aggressive thrash/death metal with crossover touches ("Impulse of Violence"), quite fast, with short, 1.5-2 min tracks.
"Signs Of Mental Decay" is a nice little gem, maybe not as aggressive but decidedly more impressive, with better guitar work, offering fairly satisfying deviations from the path: the slow doomy "Money Over Mind", a riff-fest of the crushing heavy type; the frenetic technical "Addict To Chemicaly", with a great sinister keyboard background; the complex progressive "Caught In Eternity" which is a fabulous blend of doomy and hectic technical riffs, taking turns the whole time, topped by nice operatic female vocals. Even the closing "Signs Of Mental Decay" has a great genuine finishing technical passage, nicely opposing to the more brutal nature of the beginning.

Last Fragments Of Morbid Reality Demo, 1990
Cronology of Death Split, 1991
Signs Of Mental Decay EP, 1991

XENOS (AUSTRALIA)

Based on "In the Craypot...", this act specialize in varied modern thrashcore which mixes the pace at will creating quite a bit of chaos along the way, not entirely different from Dillinger Escape Plan even. Spontaneous crusty hardcore-isms get blended with volcanic groovy sweeps which is probably not so bad, and has an intriguing feel to it at times; which is missing on the 9-min "depression" "Depress" which is simply misplaced "killing" the wide energetic techniques applied earlier. The band have no problems bringing them back later, but the burden from this gigantic composition would loom heavily except on the stylish semi-technical closer "Craypot" which is another testimony for the guys' experimental spirit which should be pursued further.

Xenos EP, 2007
Gravel Snatcher Full-length, 2010
In the Craypot... Full-length, 2013

Official Site

XENTRIX (UK)

The band who managed to bring the Bay Area thrash to the UK (along with Slammer); Metallica are an obvious influence on the band, but few are those who have done a better job impersonating the Americans. This is far from mere Metallica-worship as Xentrix's approach is not as technical, at least compared with the Americans' late 80's works, and their songs have the nice quality to stay in your head, either because of the catchy main riff or because of the memorable choruses, and you'd always be able to recognize them not without the help of the emotional characteristic semi-clean vocals of Chris Astley. "Kin" introduced more laid-back power metal as well as a few modern "borrowings" into the proceedings, and slowed down considerably, but the final result is still quite satisfying with longer, almost progressively-styled songs, and a generally heavier sound. "Scourge" is a departure from their basic style being modern 90's post-thrash similar to late-period Accuser and 90's Prong; it also introduced the new "throat" behind the mike Simon Gordon who replaced the departed Astley, and his gruffer less melodic style suited better the newly acquired musical approach. After the split-up the original members took a low profile, except Gordon who continued his career in other modern post-thrash acts, like City of God and Thousand Points of Hate.

The guys stirred quite a controversy with the "Ghostbusters" EP which made the film makers angry for the use of the unauthorized cover art on the single, but not for the excellent jolly cover version of the main song from that same film. All the band members, except Astley, are still active having recently founded the melodic thrash metal combo Hellfighter with Gordon taking over the vocal duties once again.

Shattered Existence Full-length, 1989
Ghostbusters Single, 1990
For Whose Advantage Full-length, 1990
Dilute to Taste EP, 1991
Pure Thought EP, 1991
Kin Full-length, 1992
Scourge Full-length, 1996

Official Site

XERATH (UK)

This new British formation specializes in interesting progressively-laced post-thrash which is rich in atmosphere the latter supported by a nice keyboard background, quiet piano-driven/orchestral interludes, angelic female vocals, and more. Still, the debut holds quite a few more intense surprises to whet the thrash metal fan's appetite: the edgy hectic mosher "Consequences"; the heavy steam-roller "Abiogenesis"; the technical Meshuggah-sque closer "Right to Exist". The guitar sound is mechanical and sterile, and the singer is a normal death metal semi-shouter.
"II" is more of the same, but again done with style, scoring high in the atmospheric/operatic department from the very beginning with the encompassing opener "Unite to Defy". Later on the aggression goes up the scale with the razor-sharp riffage on the crushing technicaller "Reform pt. III", but the following "The Call To Arms" shows a good sense of melody with cool stylish leads. "Machine Insurgency" is modern technical thrash at its best echoing the guys' compatriots Biomechanical with a colder Meshuggah-styled twist. "My Incited Armageddon" is a sudden unexpected turn to intense fast-paced technical thrash/death metal akin to Darkane, with a haunting orchestral outro. "Nuclear Self Eradiction" is the typical for the band stomping steam-roller with dramatic operatic digressions, a model followed by the remaining two songs including the 8.5-min progressive closer "The Glorious Death" which is a stylish blend of cutting heavy guitars and very atmospheric keyboard-ornated passages. The vocalist this time sounds higher with a black-ish pitch reminiscent of Jens Broman (Darkane). As a whole this act fits nicely into the more serious modern side of the genre pulling out both technical and atmospheric music managing to come up with a characteristic individual sound which sits somewhere between mid-period Fear Factory and Biomechanical without copying either.

I Full-length 2009
II Full-length 2011

Official Site

XERXES (SWITZERLAND)

The "Only a Dream..?" offers way more than just "a dream", being cool dark progressive power metal with both doomy and thrashy overtones. This is slow-ish moody stuff with sudden heavy riffy outbursts of the crushing dramatic type, which find enough space to develop since the songs are around the 7-8min mark. The singer is a cool clean mid-ranger which gives its emotional impact on the music without changing his pitch a lot. The guys released two full-lengths later in the 90's offering dreamy peaceful progressive rock ala Porcupine Tree and later-period Sieges Even.

Only a Dream..? Demo, 1991

XEX (USA)

Based on "Mixed Signals", this band play sharp power/thrash with progressive tendencies which crosses the heavy side of the Bay-Area (think Defiance: "Step Outside") with heavy dramatic steam-rollers ("Breaking Earth") as the main compositions are intercepted by short virtuoso instrumentals ("Wolfgang's 40", "Amadeus Jig") which are a tribute to the famous composer... well, and are proficiently executed with some tasteful leads.
"Triad" is sustained in a more modern manner and less adventurous musicianship with heavy mid-tempo guitars with a less overt thrashy edge. There are quite a few balladic leanings present as well, but the nod to the opera "Carmen" called "Carmen Sutra" is truly an experience, and alone gives this effort the price of submission. From the rest the progressive shredder "Under Where" is worth mentioning with its numerous twists and turns and clever technical guitars. The band members were also busy with the classic thrash outfit Damarus earlier in the 90's, and are at present involved with the deathcore heroes Cry Havoc.
"Vier" is modern heavy/power/proto-thrash which is melodic and all, but lacks the necessary edge to engage a more demanding thrash metal fan. The numbers cling between the ballad, the semi-ballad, and the mid-paced stomp, seldom adhering to more intense riffage although the guitar performance is outstanding the guys pulling out exemplary Shrapnel-like performance (check out the leads on "Disgraced"). This is a decent offering which should satisfy the band fanbase; after all the guys have never been very interested in playing full-fledged thrash.
Anything goes on the debut which is a varied offering without too many thrash merits. As a whole we have a post-thrash rifforama which tries to please the progressive metal fanbase as well, and the latter should have no complaints on the stylish lead sections which are by far the highlight. More intense riffage appears on "S.L.A.", but the rest is just too mild to make a lot of heads bang in agreement. The classical arrangements, so typical for the band's later material, are only slightly hinted at on a few isolated virtuoso passages.

Anything Goes Full-length, 2002
Mixed Signals Full-length, 2003
Not for Resale EP, 2005
Triad Full-length, 2006
Vier Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

XIBALBA (SLOVAKIA)

These Slovaks give a slightly more intriguing twist to the 90's post-thrash idea which moves away from the Black Album shadow with more intense proto-classic moments: the very cool heavy Defiance-sque technicaller "Repay Your Dept" which includes a great balladic lead-infused mid-section with the leads taking a nice Kirk Hammett-like shape. A total surprise would be the next "Reward From The Gods" which is smashing retro speed/thrash metal with fine technical riffage, a total no-brainer for fans of Paradox and Agent Steel. All is peace and quiet, though, on the short lead-only instrumental right after "Sunflower Fields" which shows again the lead guitarist in a very bright light. The pleasantries end here, unfortunately, the 2nd half containing a much more ordinary material, mild groovy stuff with a few more stylish decisions with only "I Hate You/Yerba Buena" adding more fuel to the fire with a small portion of faster harder riffs. As a whole this effort is pretty uneven, the midlle being way superior to the rest, sounding as though the guys have suddenly entered a dimension of spontaneous creative genius for a while before leaving it in the same abrupt unheralded way.

Grey Infinity Full-length, 1998

XIII (UK)

Based on the full-length, which is only 7 tracks long, this young British act offers a decent blend of a tad of classic and predominantly modern thrash metal with a moderate alternation between fast and slow moments on almost every song with "The Ballad Of Marv pt 1" a particularly cool mix of moshing speedy and softer balladic parts. The rest clings more towards the mid-tempo assisted by not bad semi-shouty vocals and an overall guitar sound smelling NWOAHM (think God Forbid, above all).
"North of Nowhere" is amore inspired effort with more adherence to the classic heritage plus an added use of catchy melodic hooks the further wider appeal of this album supported by semi-ballads ("Retribution"), progressive gallopers ("Fahrenheit"), intense thrash/crossover shredders ("Down 'N' Out"), unexpected traditional doomsters ("The Beaten Path"), and really cool more engaging speed/thrashers ("Eclipse") served with plenty of memorable melodic tunes. "When God Is Gone...The Devil Takes Hold" is a slightly overdone 8.5-min opus with slow uneventful tempos, and the closing acoustic ballad "Forever" is nothing special; at least it could have been a cover of the Kiss hit- ha ha! Why not...

The Last Stand EP, 2007
Unlucky For Some Full-length, 2009
North of Nowhere Full-Length, 2012

My Space

XIOM (GERMANY)

Just when one was expecting Moshquito to come on top of the German thrash metal movement with another masterpiece along the lines of "Behind the Mask", they appear under a new moniker with an entirely new image. How about the music then: the Death worship continues unabated the opening title-track being an exemplary expression of the guys' infatuation with the work of Mr. Schuldiner (R.I.P.) and his comrades. The band shift from the formula on the slower and shorter ("The Need to Suffer", "The Abyss") material where the approach becomes a bit more pensive and more straight-forward also acquiring romantic acoustic qualitites on the semi-balladic "dreamer" "Eternal Dream". The album loses steam in the middle with the aforementioned "dreamy" track and the similarly-styled flamenco-driven "El Conquistador", and after that the guys find it a bit hard to go back to the faster parametres "Slave of Desire" doing the necessary job in this aspect although the following string of numbers serve mostly mid-paced riffage with lods of melodic hooks before "Kill Them" tries to "kill" the listener with some of the fastest rhythms around. "La Tranquilidad" may flip the fan overboard being another quiet balladic acoustics diminishing the impact of the closing Oriental saga "Shunned from the Light" which is again more on the mid-tempo side with a few intriguing riff-patterns. This is not a better album than Moshquito's last effort seeing the band moving towards softer progressive territories drifting away from the Death influence, but how positive a tendency this is by acquiring a more individual face, is a bit early to tell...

Glorious Sin Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

XIPHOID (BELGIUM)

This obscure Belgian unit indulge in soaring, also roaring, speed/thrash which is obviously inflienced by Helloween’s “Walls Of Jericho” except in the vocal department where the guy doesn’t quite shine with his levelled listless mid-ranged tember. Music-wise the guys do a fairly good job with the blistering melodic leads, the omnipresent bass support, and the beautiful momentous balladic escapades (check out “Glorious Sacrifice”). “On The Run” is a glorious tribute to the aforementioned Germans channelling “Ride the Sky” above all, and doing a very good job despite the openly imitating moments at times. This is another addition to the richly talented Belgian underground scene which is a home to some of the best demos from the 80’s. The search goes on...

Trumps of Doom Demo, 1988

XKIZOFRENIA (CHILE)

Based on the "Armonia Del Caos" demo, this talented Chilean trio pulls out exemplary technical/progressive, all-instrumental, thrash which begins with the excellent "Alkitran", a fabulous speedster with numerous clever hooks of the dark brooding type. "En Toma" is an abstract Coroner-esque composition, a compelling surreal journey into atmosphere, twisted technicality, and dreamy jazzy/balladic etudes. "Armonia Del Caos" is a dark pounder which suddenly switches onto fast aggressive death metal before some of the most puzzling riffs of recent times settle in, the latter modelled after the "Mental Vortex" recipes, stirring your mind beyond repair for about 3-min. "El Progreso De La Destruccion" is a jumpy frantic composition, never leaving the mid-pace though, the clinical technical riffage wisely interrupted by some of the finest melodic Oriental leads around. "Tamalecho" is peaceful and balladic with a few impulsive faster sections, a pretty avantgarde off-beat number with echoes of Canvas Solaris, followed by the final "Sonidos En Movimiento" which is also of the calmer variety with sharp guitars mixing with quiet balladic moments for about 8-min creating an escalating dramatism with spiral-like structures the latter topped by great lead guitar work again. This is so good that one may want to listen to it several times before grasping its complete brilliance which in its turn will inspire him to dedicate several months/years of his/her life to track the full-lengths down.

Xkizofrenia Full-length, 2004
Sinfonía Atípica Single, 2005
Psicofonia Full-length, 2005
Armonia Del Caos Demo, 2009

Official Site

XKRUDE

Abrasive heavy modern post-thrash spiced with metalcore breaks and noisy industrial moments; the music is a bit cllumsy at times with the groove taking over more than now and then, especially on the longer tracks ("Transformando") which are not far from the doom/sludgy "exploits" of EyeHateGod and the likes.
"LaMadre" is in exactly the same vein so everything written about the debut applies here on all counts; maybe the approach this time is a bit slower with more overt doom/sludgy tendencies which in the 2nd half turn into semi-balladic/quasi-progressive passages with a sprawling character and bring a cool surreal atmosphere to this otherwise pretty pedestrian recording.

Del Ultimo Dia Full-Length, 2010
Lamadre Full-Length, 2013

XLR8 (USA)

The first 8 tracks are pure American power metal, not bad, but would be of little interest to the thrash metal fans. The next 6 numbers show the band moving towards thrash, still infused with a certain doze of power metal. The singer is a find with his powerful emotional voice sounding very similar to the mighty DIO (R.I.P.). The music is of the heavy mid-paced kind reminiscent of the Black Sabbath "Dehumanizer" album with punishing proto-groovy riffs.

Demo Demo, 1990

XORCIZE (GREECE)

This formation indulge in right as rain retro thrash with a few modern implements, also in the deathy shouty vocal department. The music covers all possible tempos as the most suitable seems to be the heavy pounding one. "Blast of System" tears the silence with a cool portion of fast-paced guitars, but the closing "Riders on the Road of Fire" is an epic mid-pacer with heroic tendencies, showing an act still looking for their most fitting "face".

Thoughts Filled With Fire EP, 2013

XPULSION (USA)

Based on the debut demo, these Yankees indulge in intense aggressive thrash/proto-death which may make your fillings shake in your mouth (check out the opening "Thrash Is In Session"; yes, "thrash is in session" big time on this one!). The guys shred like demneted easily reaching the intensity of gems like Merciless' debut or Devastation's "Idolatry". Later on they relax a bit, like on the crossover cut "Psychedelic Warfare", but the attack on the rest is pretty "cerebral", like on the 8-min bashing "Cerebral Assault" which is mostly instrumental without offering anything technical; just fast riffs piling on top of each other to a positive effect for most of the time. The singer has a drunken semi-shouty tember completely devoid of any emotion and dramatism.
The "War Is Imminent" demo is a carefully thought-out affair providing lengthy dynamic songs which blend numerous tempos, even adhering to a mellower power metal rhythm on the merry-go-rounder "Black Pearl". Furious galloping thrash arrives with "Anaconda Plan" before "War Is Imminent" complicates the scenery with more complex structures and more intriguing riff-patterns its only flaw being the relative lack of speedy moments. The vocals are more attached now and seldom unleash the irritating semi-shouts heard on the debut demo. The guys keep testing the soil although it's more than obvious that their skills are more than enough for the release of a really good full-length.

Pizza Incision Demo, 2011
War Is Imminent Demo, 2012

Official Site

XSTROPHY (USA)

Based on the full-length, this band play modern post-thrash with the casual more aggressive thrashy outburst. The delivery goes into all directions "courting" the semi-ballad/doom on the not bad "No Peace Within A Shell" which sleepy start gets later replaced by the most energetic shredding on the album. Sadly, the rest is not very vivid the only other more dynamic moment being the short melodic speedster "Respect" and isolated sections from the closer "Gates Of Shame". The singer has a "respectful" authoritative tember which is both aggressive and intelligible.

...of My Entire Soul EP, 2009
My Tortured Past Full-length, 2013

Official Site

XTERNITY (GERMANY)

Based on the full-length, this act play typical modern thrash/death with mean, raspy black/death metal vocals. The delivery is ripping and dynamic and hardly shows any seeming strifes at originality; still, the tempos are aptly mixed, and the final "Expulsion Into Depth" is a more ambitious progressive number with nice quiet passages.

Darkness Inside EP, 2014
Expulsion into Depth Full-length, 2015

Official Site

XTRUNK (FRANCE)

"Full Confession": members of several past, present (and, supposedly, future) French acts (Medusa, Kragens, Sideblast) have gotten together for the recording of this heavy crushing thrash/death metal affair. The guys mix intense groovy sections with faster Swedish-styled ones, and the music as a whole is quite dynamic with cool headbangers ("My Empire In Ruin", "Infectious Blood") among the predominant steam-rolling tracks. The singer is relatively angry, not far from Phil Anselmo, spiced with the gruffer death metal note.

Not In Vain Full-length, 2007
Full Confession Full-length, 2010

My Space

XUDEF KLAS (SPAIN)

A fine thrash metal band, one of the better ones to come out of Spain; the first two albums are quite competent pieces of classic thrash metal of the fast, intense type along the lines of Forbidden's debut and Death Angel's "The Ultra Violence" with more melodic power metal tracks on "Eutanasia". "Expiración" acquires more technical and modern tendencies, but is another solid release (you might find it their finest hour, depending on the taste). It doesn't offer many headbanging moments; the tempo is mid-paced, occasionally descending to more quiet, balladic territories (the last two tracks: lengthy, but quite good ballads).

Igual De Claro Full-length, 1989
Eutanasia Full-length, 1992
Expiración Full-length, 1998

XXGEKIXX (JAPAN)

Based on the "Lesbian" demo, this act, consisting of only two members, plays vicious retro "lesbian" black/thrash metal akin to early Bathory with a very abrasive fuzzy guitar sound. The singer may be a woman, although she delivers the vocals in a rending semi-hysterical manner sometimes coming with a noisy synthesized blend. The music is predominantly fast with elements of punk and hardcore, but there is also one good display of melody: the nice orchestral interpretation of the "Moonlight Sonata", cool touch although the guitars completely disappear on this one replaced by a fast piano play.

Glow Scar In Silent Moon Demo, 2009
Blackening the Sky of the East Split, 2010
Lesbian Demo, 2010
Happy My Life Demo, 2010

Official Site

XYSTENZ (FRANCE)

Friendly punk-ish thrash/crossover in mid-pace with gruff semi-clean vocals; this is melodic simplistic stuff with catchy hooks and playful rhythms which occasionally manages to capture the sombre spirit of the 2nd Carnivore album on the darker moments ("Dead Alive").

Bullet wanted ... You got it Demo 2004

XYSTER (UK)

Evil, black-ish thrash akin to Bathory and early Onslaught; the similarities with Bathory are also in the vocal department, and more particularly in the ones Quorthon (R.I.P.) used on the two most thrashy Bathory releases later during the mid-90's ("Requiem" & "Octagon"). The music is quite brutal and fast, and delivers the goods most of the time. "Subnormal" is a nod to Slayer, and is arguably the best song on the album.

In Good Faith...? Full-length, 1989

Vibrations of Doom

XZANTHUS (USA)

This is the first band of Henry Moreno, the drummer who later made a bigger impact on the metal scene with Imagika and Taunted. This 3-song demo is an excellent start for the man being thrash/speed metal with a certain technical edge recalling Have Mercy and Blessed Death.

Demo Demo, 1989


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