XII are a three piece band, heavily influenced by both the Goth and Metal scenes and were conceived by ex Fields of the Nephilim’s, bass player/drummer John Carter, after he left the Nephs in 2009. Carter takes the helm of vocals and bass on this debut album for XII and is joined by Shaun Dunne on guitars and drum maestro Alex Martin who completes the line-up.
Perhaps there is no surprise that the album as a whole produces a sound towards the heavier side of the Nephilim/Nefilim, given Carter’s involvement in the stage of the Nephilim/Nefilim’s history and admittedly it sounds damn fine. Vocally there is the McCoy influence along with a hint of Lemmy along the way.
These vocal styles are displayed perfectly on the heavy rock track Solitary Sanity where they are backed with chugging guitars, a frenetic solo and pounding drum work, whereas you hear the more chilled out style on ‘Love it never fades’, which musically is reminiscent of The Mission.
‘Virtue’ is a killer track, catchy, fast paced and heavy. It was the lead single from the album, even having an accompanying video which you can see here:
‘Ode to Mother’ brings it back to basics and in a very hauntingly beautiful way, it allows the quality of the guitar work to shine and highlights the raw talent of Carter as a vocalist.
Then the switch is turned and the ferocious bomb track ‘More’ is unleashed with an introduction of almost Cradle of Filth proportions, that then settles down into more of a Nefilim style.
The final highlight is the end track ‘The Ever Unfolding’ that delights with a nigh on ten minute sublime vocal journey that blends Zeppelin style riffs with Carter’s awesome devilish bass lines shining through the darkness.
‘Moving in the Shadows’ is an album that will appeal to the Goth metal side of the scene, although there are softer tracks that may lure in fans of Gothic Rock. A dark delight indeed. (NOTE: Bandcamp and official were removed, Itunes still working) ► by Raven and The Gothicfox