Xenesthis – “Thou Shall Not” (2011)


Label : Come Clean Records

Review by Tony Cannella

The Xenesthis Immanis is a type of Tarantula from Columbia. I was curious what the band name meant, so I googled it, you learn something new every day. I don’t like spiders much (sorry spider enthusiasts), but I do like the Austrian modern metal band Xenesthis and their new album “Thou Shalt Not”, so I guess that is what’s important. Xenesthis has existed since 2003, and according to their bio have already shared the stage with Metallica and Slayer at various festivals in Europe. Xenesthis is often referred to as ‘modern metal’, one of the latest metal sub-genres and one that always makes me scratch my head. I’m not sure what ‘modern metal’ means (is there a ‘un-modern’ metal).  Whatever the case, I would describe Xenesthis as a band who plays with a lot of energy, their sound is raw and in-your-face and the band also displays a thrash metal influence; I would also describe Xenesthis and “Thou Shalt Not” as relentless from beginning to end. On the opening track “Alecto” it starts off with a deep almost demonic male voice reading off some the 10 commandments, a cool opening that sets the stage for what is to follow as the band comes out all guns blazing, behind a solid impenetrable wall of riffs. There is no let up on the second track “Reflections”, featuring some crunchy stop/start riffs and a melodic thrash vibe. “Taken Sick” continues its straight forward approach. “Fool” continues the rapid fire assault.  Xenesthis ups the ante with the go-for-the-throat; thrash heavy “Ashes of Affection”, which features some shouting vocals courtesy of guitarist Raffael Trimmal, this song is just mean, brutal, nasty and one of the best songs. Raffael appears from time to time with his shouting vocals in contrast to Katrin’s clean, melodic style. Songs like “Hedonist’s Horror”, “United in Chaos” and “Sand Through Hands” assure the consistency of “Thou Shalt Not”. Xenesthis may be heavy as all hell, but I really love the fact that they manage to inject their songs with healthy doses of melody, and a lot of that comes from Katrin’s vocal style.  Maybe the songs aren’t all that varied in style – and that would be my one small complaint, that perhaps it all blends together at times, but when you play with this much power and intensity that is easy to overlook. Modern Metal, un-modern Metal whatever you want to call it, I would just refer to Xenesthis as a good METAL band and “Thou Shalt Not” is a good METAL album, that’s all that matters.

Rating – 83/100



  1. Alecto
  2. Reflections
  3. Taken Sick
  4. Fool
  5. Ashes of Affection
  6. Hedonist’s Horror
  7. Raised Fist Armed
  8. Drowning
  9. United in Chaos
  10. Sand Through Hands


Line Up

  • Katrin Bernhardt – Vocals
  • Raffael Trimmal – Guitars & Shouts
  • Thomas Bauer – Guitar
  • Michael Bartle – Bass
  • Andreas Zoncsich – Drums



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