|Review: Xasthur - Nocturnal Poisoning|
Label: Blood Fire Death (USA)
Year released: 2002
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: July 11, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Now this is what I mean by 'kvlt'. Xasthur are a very fine US Black Metal band who are not going to be in any danger of becoming commercialized, as this shit is just too uncompromising and cold to ever appeal to a wider audience, and I would not have it any other way. This is their second full-length, out of (as of now) five albums, and it will easily drive Dimmu and Cradle of Fags fans to gruesome suicide.
Xasthur are of the depressive school of Black Metal that I associate with Countess or Forgotten Tomb. They (or rather he, as this is a one-man act) mix everything together in a solid wave of sound, so that the whole album seethes like a sea of pain and despair from which Bathory-style riffs sometimes rise like fanged, eyeless monsters to devastate the landscape. This is not fast, or blasty, or technical. It is an hour-long distillation of hate and agony, whose very overlong drag is a part of the experience. Yes, over an hour of this is too much, but this was obviously part of the intended effect, as by the end of the album you are worn down, but also utterly satisfied.
Those looking for fast, furious BM, or for orchestral wankery a la Old Man's Child will not find that stuff here. This is for those who want to be enveloped by an atmosphere of darkness and misanthropy by music that is bleak and cold, and yet stirs you just the same. A fine black gem of the US underground
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