Like many funerals, XX is sudden, solemn, and brief, a dreamlike twist of old faces, bizarre incantations, and false comforts. It meditates on the nature of death and the infinity of grief, as well as the visceral climax of a closed box being lowered into the ground forever. Musically, the EP drifts in the rolling gloom of the group’s previous album, 2014’s Night of the Hammer, with a few glimpses of the heavy metal mad science that characterized its earliest works.
Regarding Dawnbringer’s future, bandleader Chris Black managed to say this: “Clues are more interesting than explanations. Too bad subtlety is out of style. But that has always been Dawnbringer’s comfort zone. It’s great that [2010’s] Nucleus turned out to be so popular, but I had a strange feeling at the time that something had malfunctioned. I’m glad we’ve been able to deflect that sensation back toward the audience in the meantime. For now, if confusion will be our epitaph, I gratefully accept.”