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Album Review: Dxxm II by Scarlxrd

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Marius Listhrop, or better known by his stage name, Scarlxrd (or just Scar) is a trap metal rapper from the United Kingdom. While originally starting out as a YouTuber and as a vocalist in a nu metal band, Scar eventually transferred over to trap metal. After several albums in a short period of time, Dxxm II marks the follow up and twelfth studio album from Scarlxrd.

The first track from the album is Apxcalypse. The track opens up with some guitar riffs that are reminiscent of some of his older albums and mixtapes. Just from what I'm hearing at the beginning of the album, Scarlxrd is definitely putting in all of his effort and energy into his opening. His screaming is just on par and there's no signs of slowing down. Based on the lyrics of the chorus, Scarlxrd doesn't feel great, but he knows he's not done making music yet.

Kill Xr Be Killed continues to bring the energy with the guitars, but eventually cuts out to the bass loops and drum kits. Besides the instrumentals, Scarlxrd continues to bring some aggressive yelling on the tracks, but also decides to tone it down on some of his rapping, especially during the verse of the track. It's a pretty quick track, but he talks about being in the state of mind of either being hunted, or hunting someone else.

While Leeches!!! does have some of my favorite guitar openings for the track, it's probably one of my least favorite, especially since we've seen a lot of aggressiveness brought in from Scarlxrd at the get go. I'm a bit surprised that he hasn't toned it down much on the album. As for the lyrics, the lyrics seem to reference people that just want to be around him for the fame. He doesn't want the fake friends and just wants to be around the people who actually cared for him before the fame.
Shh!... probably has one of the best mixes between guitars and trap-infused beats on the album. The album opens up with some high pitched guitar parts, but after their quick opening, the basses and 808 loops seem to even out of the track. While Scarlxrd is basically screaming for most of the track, he kind of lets go of some perfect opportunities of those longer screams and break down points during the track. There are some points towards the end, but he doesn't take advantage of the earlier sections. 

Ngafiyd seems to bring it back to Scarlxrd's older days when he first started his music career when can be found on different intervals on the track. This is also the longest track on the album, but it just over three minutes in length. You have his aggressive yelling, some of his deeper growls, as well as his laid back rapping. Scarlxrd is definitely showing that he is capable of doing it all with this talented track, I just wish it was a bit longer.

Drxwn 6x continues to bring the energy with the guitar riffs and his rapping. As stated earlier in the review, there's really nothing new that he hasn't presented on this album yet. He's keeping the energy high but not switching between his calmer rapping and the angry screaming rapping. Anyways, one weird fact from the album is that Scarlxrd says 'Drxwn' seven times instead of six times which is referenced by the title of the track.

Destrxy the Cure seems a bit more chaotic than some of the previous tracks, especially with the horror inspired guitars at the beginning of the track. While there are some references to his other tracks on previous albums, this track may be a reference to the current pandemic and finding the cure or a vaccine. Other than that, it does seem to be a great track for letting Scarlxrd explore the different sides of his music career.

Nx Chance Xf Survival opens up with some pretty heavy instrumentals and a sound snippet. Besides that, Scarlxrd does change up his rapping a bit with this track which excites me since we haven't really had much experimentation throughout. He also matches the intensity and the drumkicks during the chorus of the track. Also I've said this before, but his low growls are pretty prominent on this track and there's no denying that he's talented.

Rxbxt Slut! starts with a slow, but more eerie feeling with the instrumentation. He also keeps up the interesting sound bites to open up the tracks. The eerieness does come back during the middle of the track for a short interlude where Scarlxrd tones it down for a few lines. On this track, Scarlxrd seems to open it up saying how he's one of the best rappers in the game, but the halfway point changes up the theme of the album and it's talking about how people will want you dead and the world is full of enemies.

Natural Selectixn opens up with some more traditional string notes compared to some of the previous tracks. We also get some industrial percussion beats on this track which adds a little bit more uniqueness. I'm honestly a bit surprised at how fast Scar is able to rap on this track, so he's continuing to show versatility on this album. The natural selection part of the track title refers to the current pandemic that is going on.

After that, Utxpia = Mass Genxcide marks the shortest track on the album, just under two minutes in length. It honestly just seems like a turning point in the album, especially with the lengthy introduction, and minimalist instrumentation that opens it up. While at first I thought this track had to do with the pandemic (especially since the last track had a similar message), a lot of fans are speculating that it has to do with the record label he signed with.

Stand Yxur Grxund continues with the usual recipes that we have heard on the previous tracks. It's a little bit different as it does incorporate more electronic and trap influences that you might hear on a more trap-infused track. You also have the heavy reverbed bass that rumbles for a good amount of the track, which makes this more of a banger. I don't really have anything negative to say about this track, but as I've said before, it's nothing new that he hasn't introduced yet.

Dx I Still Dream? opens up quietly with some odd percussion beats and what sounds like a rain effect. Eventually Scarlxrd comes in with some wind blows which lets us know that he's about to come in. It is a bit different on this track since the sound effects that he incorporated at the beginning seem to trail on for the rest of the track. He also seems to take a more laid back approach with his rapping, but it seems a little rough and raspy than what he's normally at.

Cautixn brings back the eerie vibe to the album. The haunting guitar riffs and sound clip at the beginning just sets the current mood of the album. While it is one of those eerie and haunting tracks, it still has the ability to be a banger with the energy that Scarlxrd definitely isn't stepping down on. Just judging by the various things Scar has talked about on this track, he's mostly talking about the luxurious life he's living and how he's at the top of his game.

Serxtxnin is all over the place with the introduction. You have an electronic bell like note for the percussion instrument. Overall, it's just a bit more electronic than metal on this track, especially with the bass that's overpowering mostly everything else. Scarlxrd also addresses his haters again with the line, "All Scar does is scream," which is kind of accurate with this project. However, this is one of his most high energy projects to date that I can think of.

Evil Egx was one of the latest promotional singles and it's easily one of my favorite tracks from this album. With the light bell notes that surround the track, it makes it sound eerie, but Scar is still able to turn this into a high powered track. His rapping is on point and he's able to change between different screaming and rapping styles throughout the entirety of the track. I also like the layering of his vocals towards the end to give the track more depth and volume.

Red Light was another promotional single for the album, and it was actually the first track I heard from the new album. While I don't like it as much as Evil Egx, this track still goes hard and it is definitely more unique compared to the other tracks on the album. You got the electronic, saw-like guitar that acts as the backing bass sound, but he hasn't really incorporated that on any of the other tracks on this album which is a relief.

Let the Wxrld Burn marks another single, however I haven't heard this track until the album released so I was a bit surprised from this one. I don't really know what to think about this track since, as I said plenty of times, nothing new has been added to this album. He seems pretty angst-y on this track since he's bringing his energy, but also hatred. As the title suggests he really just wants to see the world burn, which I can understand with everything that has happened just in the past year.

Nightmares finally brings the more metal part back to the album. We have the heavy guitar riffs and industrial percussion instruments. He seems to show off his fast rapping on this track since it seems like he's trying to increase his speed with a certain part of each verse. There's a unique 'chopping' feature with his vocals towards the end of the track that adds some uniqueness, but it doesn't really add anything worthy of value.

Get Him! was teased with a promotional video for his clothing brand, so some fans have already been wondering where this track has been. His vocals seem to be a bit quieter than some of the previous tracks, so I'm wondering if there's something off with the mixing. Other than that, his rapping can be a bit off beat at times, whether that be intentional or not. It also seems like his screaming and rapping seem straightforward with no changes.

The final track we have on the album is Gx Kill Yxurself. At first, this sounds like something you would have heard in an Xbox Live lobby of Call of Duty a decade ago. All jokes aside, this is another high energy track from Scarlxrd. At first I was a bit disappointed since I thought he wasn't going to change his flow, but about halfway through the track, he finally started to experiment a bit more with his flow, and also goes into a more rap direction.

I was excited for this album and while it does have some pretty great tracks, there are also a lot of skippable, or unmemorable tracks. With the high energy being passed from track to track, it's easy to get lost in his style and flow, and hard to decipher track from track. I do enjoy this project though and believe it is one of his most high-powered and exciting albums yet.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: Apxcalypse, Kill Xr Be Killed, Destrxy the Cure, Nx Chance Xf Survival, Evil Egx, Red Light
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