Xexyz - Primeval Mountain (Dipsomaniac Records CD-R)

For those who took offense at Ettrick appropriating the dark arts for their own personal benefit and monetary gain, have I got a record for you! Xexyz. Grim enough band name, grim enough album title, certainly grim enough album art - especially when you dig the pixellated laser printer job - but a quick trip to Google and you'll find out that the majority of the results returned for the word "Xexyz" are for Nintendo ROMs, websites, and the like. Wikipedia sez: "Xexyz is a video game by Hudson Soft for the Nintendo Entertainment System, first released in Japan on August 26, 1988 under the title Kame no Ongaeshi - Urashima Densetsu; it saw a North American release in March, 1990". Oh wait, what? No, it couldn't be...it is! The Nintendo theme/black metal crossover the world was holding its collective breath for! You have the NESkimos and the Minibosses for full-band NES covers, the Advantage for indie rock NES covers, HORSE the Band for hardcore NES covers and now Xexyz for black metal NES covers. Call it...NESBM! Personally I think it's great and can't wait for the doom metal NES covers to sprout up. Can you imagine a 20 minute version of the Legend of Zelda theme or something like that? I'm half-tempted to start my own band just for that purpose. Maybe I can hook up with Reverend J.R. Preston (if that is his real name, he uses an incredible array of pseudonyms), the lone soul behind Xexyz. You might - might - know him from his work in bands like Blood Cult, Tjolgtjar, Enbilulugugal, MMFHL, Raw Hatred, Burning Blood, Bloodwoods and Roadkill Sodomizer, among others I'm sure. In particular Enbilulugugal's "Noizemongers for GoatSerpent" is worth checking out as it is an undisputed classic of fucked up modern-day black metal/noise confusion (and boasts a song titled "Koldgrimm HellMasturbator", can't top that). Man is there nothing else better to do in Illinois than to create a whole bunch of black metal spinoff groups? I'm beginning to wonder, correct me if I'm wrong.
If you couldn't figure it out already, the plot is pretty simple. Whereas other black metal groups use keyboards or synthesizers, Xexyz lifts classic lines straight out of various Nintendo game and then structures an actual song around it. In fact the first track "Temple Above the Wood Hollow" sounds like your regular, lo-fi one-man black metal track until the two minute mark, when the track fades out an is replaced by a hideous/hilarious/awe-inspiring 8-bit squelch. I couldn't tell you just what game it's from since I'm no pro, but it works surprisingly well! Of course it's goofy too, but that's at least part of the point. But everything up until then - buzzing riffs, tinny drums and Xexyz's screeching vocals (reminiscent of bands like Old Wainds or maybe W.O.L.D.) are right on the money. "What Lies Atop Gran Mountain" threads another NES anthem around a blackened stomp and comes off disturbingly epic, but then again Nintendo did have some pretty outrageously bravado themes in their time. Once you hear tracks like "Metroid" and "Nightmare on Elm Street" it hits you in the face just how absolutely perfect the themes were to be married with BM dissonance and the theme to "Rygar's Quest" never sounded so glorious as it does here reimagined as a black metal interlude...it's weird to think that it really wouldn't sound entirely out of place on an early album by Emperor or Ulver or what have you. "The Trojan's Doom" is split in two, the first part devoted to repetitive 8-bit chirping and drumming while the latter half let's the song disintegrate into a truly nasty sounding dark ambient slosh. Final two tracks are "Garloz" and "Attack of the Great Panther", each with its own brand of weirdness - the couple of minutes of "Garloz" are dedicated the sampled theme seemingly played in reverse before segueing into a more, uh, "normal" solo BM basement creation while "Attack" is overloaded with a wash of bizarre swirling sound effects, almost like an NES version of a shoegaze version of a Velvet Cacoon track...comprende?
No doubt there are CERTAIN folks who are gonna balk on Xexyz based on premise alone, but these people also paint their faces before going to shows so you can be the judge on that one. If you've got a sense of humor and maybe 7 bucks burning a hole in your pants, try "Primeval Mountain" on for size. You'd be surprised at just how little shtick is really involved in Xexyz's approach - there are some serious bangers here man and I ain't talking sausage although on second thought maybe I am. All things considered Xexyz makes me wanna paint my face but then I'd risk smudging up my Virtual Boy and you know homie don't play that. I can still rock a spiked Powerglove with the best of em though...


Blogger G said...

is the black metal/free noise crossover "done"? I'm wanting for some gangsta-rap/noise blends now... for us folk who never dug metal in the first place.,..

2/22/2007 6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's just getting started.

For gangsta rap/noise, uh...Dalek?


2/22/2007 2:13 PM  
Blogger JT said...

What about a Madchester/noise crossover? That'd be fun, right?

Mr. Outerspace, I actually think this sounds kinda cool. Maybe not for the "extra" $7 that I don't have lying around, but still, I'm imagining it and it doesn't sound gimmicky at all. (Not like writing your name in a ca-razy genre font, unlike some people I know...and like.)

2/23/2007 12:31 AM  
Blogger Outer Space Gamelan said...

Then I think you'd do well to check out their (his) Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/xexyz666

2/23/2007 1:00 AM  
Anonymous james said...

G, check out DJ Dog Dick.

My contribution to the cuteness:


2/23/2007 2:54 PM  
Anonymous cory strand said...

i have to agree, the black metal/noise subsect is really starting to come into its own..although i think there's always been that sort of overlap since black metal came into being, whether intentional or not (some of the production values on early BM demos really give a noisy sort of feel)...and then there's bands out there like Leviathan who take BM and totally twist it up with noise and psychedelia to create some sort of new majestic whole, or bands like Xasthur and Bone Awl who really cloud their recordings under dense clouds of fuzz and rumble. or projects like Dead Raven Choir who have a tenuous connection to black metal but churn out some of the most beautiful, passionate noise that i've heard, all the while keeping one foot in the black metal aesthetic. it all makes for great records and i personally don't want it to stop! i just ordered the Xexyz album myself and eagerly await its arrival at my door, along with some other goodies from Dipsomaniac...

2/23/2007 5:32 PM  
Blogger Outer Space Gamelan said...

DJ Dog Dick, sounds familiar...I'm guessing he/she/it goes by another, better-known name?

Thanks for the comment Cory, I appreciate your insight. I'm glad not EVERYONE thinks black metal should be kept (un)holy and true. It's as ripe for cross-pollination as anything else in the world, at least it should be. Hope you enjoy the album.

2/23/2007 9:54 PM  
Anonymous james said...

DJ Dog Dick = Max Eisenberg (Nautical Almanac) rapping over some fucked up hip hop beats. i'm not sure where he's done that sort of set other that Baltimore, but it's worth checking out. i'm not sure i've heard anything like it anywhere else.

I have recordings of that set I can upload.

2/23/2007 11:40 PM  
Blogger Outer Space Gamelan said...

Aha, I was going to ask if it was a Nautical Almanac or Heresee thing (really!). I was on the right track.

You don't have to go to the trouble of uploading it just for me, I'll see if I can't find anything on Soulseek or what have you.

2/24/2007 2:58 AM  
Anonymous james said...

good luck with that. if you do, let me know. I can't get my hands on "studio" stuff to save my life...even tried emailing Max directly...got no response.

2/24/2007 12:07 PM  
Anonymous G said...

Cheers peeps, will check Dog Dick, the Almanac heritage sounds promising. I was being cheeky too, as BM can be mighty funn 0)))

2/25/2007 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some good BM/Noise-crossover, check out the Norwegian band Utarm. The hottest thing here in the cold, evil north at the moment.

3/16/2007 6:27 PM  
Blogger Outer Space Gamelan said...

I just might have to. Thanks.

3/16/2007 10:59 PM  

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