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Review: M.H.X’s Chronicles – Infinite Ocean

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One of the things about M.H.X’s Chronicles you’ll notice straight out of the gate, is their unrelenting faithfulness to true melodic death metal. Never straying too far from the tried and true patterns and layouts of most melodic death metal, M.H.X’s Chronicles stands out in it’s exceptional impact and in the obvious care taken to craft it’s many riffs, verses and choruses. Even the faster, heavier sections of Infinite Ocean seem to be deliberately chosen and written to balance and counterbalance the melodic verses and choruses. When talking about all that Infinite Ocean encompasses and holds within itself, it really is large as the ocean.

Starting as a project by Brazilian guitarist and vocalist Murillo Henrique Xavier, the M.H.X’s Chronicles quartet have truly matched some of the most popular melodic death metal bands, straight from homeland of melodic death metal itself, while being more accessible to today’s listeners. When you think of melodic death metal, bands such as Dark Tranquility, In Flames, Amon Amarth, and The Black Dahlia Murder come to mind. While not as overall intense and brutal as TBDM, M.H.X’s Chronicles delivers more emotion and clarity, similar to In Flames or (even more so) Amon Amarth; they’re most alike in the way the lyrics are performed (from a first person perspective) and even in the way they’re sometimes layered over the melodic verses.

Infinite Ocean takes on a very distinct ‘sailing the oceans’ feel. The first track “Overture of the Seas” begins with sounds of seagulls and the ocean. When a deep rumble moves the song along, strings sweep up the melody and slowly but surely bring you to the edge of your seat. With an immense anticipation built up, the second track “Conquest of the Oceans” blasts through the speakers. Toting familiar riffs, “Conquest of the Oceans” is a solid song that starts the album off strongly and gives an accurate representation of what you can expect throughout the rest of the album.

Instrumentally, Infinite Ocean is melodic but never boring or slow and heavy but never mind-numblingly so. There are air splitting solos, and some seriously catchy verses and riffs- I’d recommend any aspiring or experienced song writer check out some of these verses/solos/chorus’, they’re really amazing. Vocally, it airs on the side of metalcore with a thrash or black metal influence. The screams are highs, mids and lows, and while they have a metalcore tone to them, they’re performed more like black metal vocals- they have a slower attack and a longer sustain/decay to them. There is the occasional singing, though it’s well placed and infrequent enough so it’s not a major theme throughout the album.

Overall, M.H.X’s Chronicles: Infinite Ocean is a great album. It’s unique, beautifully written, masterfully performed, and just sounds plain great.

8/10

You can check out M.H.X’s Chronicles: Infinite Ocean on Facebook, Youtube, and purchase it on Bandcamp

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