Conveying the depth and nuance of ‘Xenos’ in a little over 150 words isn’t easy. The third album from Greek musician Leon Veremis, otherwise known as Leon Of Athens, is a record interested in estrangement, displacement, politics, and one hinged on Europe’s refugee crisis.
While such subjects are certainly heavy ones to wrestle with, ‘Xenos’ deftly balances the gravitas with an airy optimism, creating a dichotomy that underpins the album’s entirety. Title track ‘Xenos’, for instance, throbs with a brooding intensity, offset only occasionally by a delicate chorus. It’s short-lived however, and as the intensity builds, so does the feeling of displacement, created by its calamitous conclusion.
Elsewhere, tracks such as ‘Fire Inside You’ or opener ‘Aeroplane’ possess an irrefutable sense of sanguineness, offering brief respite from the weight found elsewhere. Fittingly, however, even these more upbeat offerings shoulder their share of darkness, while those more sombre tracks harbour hope; a subtle reminder that even when the world’s going to shit, there’s always a silver lining.
Words: Dave Beech
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