It is impossible to brand the new Crossfaith record Xeno with a simple label. An amalgamation of hard rock, metal, techno and house music, this album does not fit neatly into any one package. And that’s exactly what makes it so much fun.
“System X” begins the record with racing violins and raging electronic beats in an exciting cross between movie soundtrack and rave. And essentially, that is the tone of Xeno. As the album picks up hard rock and industrial cues with songs like the title track and the inspirational “Raise Your Voice,” a sense of drama and increasing tension unfolds between the technological elements and the more human ones. The two sides work synergistically with each other at the same time that they compete, and that’s what makes tracks like “Dystopia” and “Ghost In The Mirror” feat. Caleb Shomo (Beartooth) so intriguing.
Xeno does venture off into the realm of camp, however, with the likes of “Wildfire” feat. Benji Webbe (Skindred). The song feels more like a video game theme than anything. The record is also decently long at 15 tracks, which can get a little tiresome if you’re not living it up in a ne0n-lighted warehouse somewhere. But the melodic moments in songs like “Vanguard” and the more sentimental “Tears Fall” help keep things fresh, and overall Xeno ends up being an adventure worth taking.