Xorcist has done some amazing work. From the powerful and varied beat structures of Soul Reflections to the cinematic soundscaping of the Xenon project, the projects under the Xorcist banner usually deliver. So, it comes as a surprise to me that disc doesn’t nearly live up to the standards set by the previous work. Few of the tracks manage to convey any real emotion. The beats thump away while a synth meanders along and eventually fades away. Xorcist have attempted to add some “dark ambient” style tracks and textures to their work, but fail to achieve what most dark ambient creates: depth. Their attempts sound simply like someone playing with “spooky” samples over flat synth washes. Track 10, “Spiritual Angels,” reminds me of all of the criticism that was said of Muslimguaze ; boring beats, and a sampling of the music of eastern cultures without capturing the essence of the music. The lyrics of “Pretty” are almost laughably bad: “I don’t want you/ I don’t need you/ You’re not pretty to me/ You’re not pretty to me.”

That is not to say that the whole album is bad. There are a few outstanding tracks on this release. “Whiplash Sonogram” features some heavy duty crunch, not unlike some Ant-Zen material. “Slider” actually manages some depth with thick drums, a light melody, and some well-placed samples. If you are a die-hard Xorcist fan, nothing I can say will dissuade you from buying this album, however, if you are new to Xorcist, stay with the older material, more beats for your buck.

Pendragon Records, P.O. Box 338, Yardley, PA 19067; pendrag1@aol.com

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