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, 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 Enlighten wascomposed, 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). No better word than the lyrics themselves to describe this second opus:
Half the Phoenix is reborn in haze. Fear of no-one, higher expectation. Television highway, sympathetic entourage; Exit pain – Seldom the frost. Caustic lacerations, constant medication; Exit brain – Seldom the frost. It’s the man who didn’t know, the world was fine; The man who didn’t know, how to walk in a line; It’s the man who didn’t know, nothing is inside; The man who didn’t know, to abide – By the rules, by the time, By the law and by the dime; By the sun, by the moon, By the glass and by the spoon; By the trigger in the finger and the string around the neck; To finally obey – what the heck? De-clutch the light, and kill the piper. Drink out, drown in a vase. Close your eyes, you’re an inflexible mass. Astral projection, Like a time lapse in reverse. Artistic aura, like a ritual and a verse. Spectral phenomenon, like a pastel saturation. Arresting face, and a corpus of an angel. Powder calming, like a stop-motion cap-a-pie. Artistic ambiance, like a vision and a lie. Eerie pattern, like a muddy scrap of paper. Disgusting face, and a corpus Magma Mater – The minstrel is a fool, A solemn and a tool. His organ pipes are blocked, His message forever locked. The Kings he serves, Masses with no verve. The chant he declaims, Trampled down, in remains !