XCIII (To a passerby…) is an Avantgarde Rock / Metal project located in France. Its aim is to combine different styles going from Black Metal to Trip Hop with no limitation, but with the will to keep a musical and lyrical coherence between all the tracks. A kind of “Art Total”, where music, lyrics and pictures respond to each other.
Formed by Guillaume in 2009 in Nice/France, XCIII was first created with a lot of session musicians. The band released his first demo in 2010, Majestic Grief. The idea was to create a project around the 19th century romanticism in Germany as well as in France and England. The music is a personal way to describe tormented feelings about love and hate, the impossible quest of an ideal. Therefore, XCIII had a lot of Black Metal influences at the beginning.
After a few concerts (within one with the great Dornenreich), XCIII released a Split with the Band Abyss Cerebrum, Nocturnal Promenade. After that, XCIII signed a contract with German label Naturmacht Productions, and released his first album, Like a Fiend in a Cloud in February 2013, which was highly acclaimed by the specialized press. A lot of bands inspired XCIII by the time, as for example My Dying Bride, Opeth, Porcupine tree, Katatonia, Anathema, Agalloch etc. The former idea to play a folk black metal disappeared by the time Guillaume composed new songs, which were more open to new horizons, including Experimental and Prog elements. The result is a bleak experiment around a same idea. Destructed in the musical conception, the theme remains a whole.
By the end of the year 2013, XCIII and Naturmacht part ways because the music was not matching the labels policy anymore. For a better transition to different musical universes, XCIII released the EP Event Horizon in 2014. It was composed, mixed and mastered by the band itself in November 2013 and April 2014, at the Forlorn Hope studios in Lyon/France. XCIII wanted to experiment new sounds, new genres. The result is a complex psychedelic journey composed by traditional black metal music and more. Still melancholic, the music finds its inspiration in both the essence of life and catatonia. It is a mix between cold eerie sounds and warm encouraging rhythms. The cover artwork, a simple white painted picture of trees, was made by Fanny R.
The second album Enlighten was composed, recorded and mixed by the band itself from January to April 2015 at the Forlorn Hope studios in Lyon/France. The photo credits for the cover artwork are under copyright for NOSIGNER (Japan). XCIII found a new label, Anesthetize Productions. Before the album was released in June 2016, a video was shot for the song Zeit(geist). Undergoing a lot of inspirations, only one year after, XCIII released Theanomie, a 3-piece EP, which emphasizes the significant influence of dark wave. After a weeks residency at La Biscuiterie in Château-Thierry, XCIII is now ready to share its cinematic soundscapes through intense live shows.