Forgotten Gems-XINR-Beyond Woodword
This is a different kind of forgotten gem I guess. This one was recorded a while ago, 1984 to be specific. However it was not released back then and was just released a few years ago. Hailing from Portland this band was very much into classic style metal and the NWOBHM too. The sound here is similar to 70's Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Cirith Ungol, early Iron Maiden and others. The sound quality is more like a demo, but that's alright because the fuzzy sound and slight rawness add to their rather loose sound. They sound at times like a band practicing in a basement and doing some real improvisation which really works with their style. The guitars have a great tone and the riffs are plenty. The vocals very from mid-range to slightly high and frequently seem spread out. The rhythm section was solid although the drums get buried in the mix on a few tracks. XINR have a slight quirkiness to their sound like Cirith Ungol. They don't always follow the normal course and the metal world could use more bands like this. Being a bit unpredictable helped define their sound. If this album had been released in 1984 I think it would have at the very least be a cult classic by now. At least it did eventually see the light of day. This release includes some bonus tracks as well. Fans or early 80's metal are going to love this one.