Home > Music > Quickie: Xexyz – Primeval Mountain

Quickie: Xexyz – Primeval Mountain

So this one’s a pretty obscure release from some guy with a dozen extreme metal projects or so. No, he did not strike gold with this one, but his works probably will lead to such. NES fanatics should recognize “Xexyz” as one of the games for the system – apparently it’s a cult classic mixing horizontal shooter levels with platforming action. Those who aren’t may be shocked to hear 8-bit music accompanying everything, as well as seeing songs with titles like “Rygar’s Quest”, “Metroid”, and so forth.

The formula is very simple – minimalist black metal over NES chiptunes.  It works surprisingly well. The production is adequate, if not particularly professional sounding – the chiptunes sound perfectly fine, while the bass is mostly inaudible, the guitars are strangely bassy as opposed to the typical black metal trebles, and the drums are actually full-sounding. The vocals remind me of  Burzum – they are “horrid screeches” for whatever reason, but with indiscernable lyrics. I’d say it’s in an unusual middling point – it could be made rawer, or more professional, and either way, it would be acceptable. Since the production is (although adequate) nothing particularly special, any judgement passed should come down to the actual songwriting. It’s mostly very simple black metal, although it could most likely stand on its own were the chiptunes removed. Occasionally, the 8-bit beeps and bloops drop out, and the artist (one “Rev”) generally shifts towards writing more atmospheric content. Also noticable is that the album is thematically divided into two sections – one four-song “suite” to Rygar (perhaps it was his favorite game), with the other four songs from other video games, such as “Trojan”, “Metroid”, and “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. The source content is good, and since Rev doesn’t really make any mistakes in songwriting/aesthetics, this can safely be labeled as a “good” album of black metal with a unique twist on its content.

The problem here is that the artist’s ambitions were limited to merely playing along with the 8-bit music. Considering how well the “primitive” NES music goes with the “raw” black metal, it would’ve been interesting to see some original compositions, but since this was released all the way back in 2006, and that there appears to have been no interest in a sequel, it would be up to fans to create further works in this style.

  1. Reverend
    2011/04/05 at 16:45

    Well, I just read the review and would like to comment on a few things. First, I don’t like Xexyz (the game) as it totally sucked . Second, Rygar had some of the greatest music (and all an endless loop) so I used it but gaming-wise, Rygar really sucked too. I have a soft spot for it but playing it through again recently (actually around the time I recorded this album) brought the realization that it is quite possibly one of the worst games ever made, really. Third, the label wanted a sequel to it, and I began working on it, but then just shelved it… I don’t know why, I just didn’t care about it. One day there will be a sequel but not any time soon! Thanks for the review I very much enjoyed this.

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