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. 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.
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. 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.
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 was now ready to share its cinematic soundscapes through intense live shows.
In February 2018, XCIII released Press Repeat. XCIII tried to rearrange ten songs which inspired the band since a long time, using all of their musical influences: Doom, Black, Prog, Trip-Hop… The songs were experiments on the way to the third album, which was released in September 2018. Transiense was a new milestone in the career of XCIII: even more eclectic, with some hint of industrial Metal, but also more pop-influenced atmospheres. Severeal songs were composed in order to be played live. Juliette Poulain was in charge of the visuals, both the cover artwork than the video for the song Room of Lights.
The gradual transformation of XCIII has reached to a provisional end with The Blue EP, which was released the 10th of December 2019 to celebrate the ten years of the projects existence. Even more sensual and direct, it overlaps all the bands experiments of the last decade.
To be continued…