|Review: Xasthur - Defective Epitaph|
Label: Hydra Head Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: October 30, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
How the once-mighty have begun to put us to sleep. This is the startlingly dull sixth album from Xasthur, who once created such depressive epics as Nocturnal Poisoning but seem to have looong since lost the will to do anything interesting. I skipped reviewing their last, the elusive Subliminal Genocide, because I don't really like Xmas music. But this I get as a promo, so I am more or less obligated to elucidate how very, very boring Xasthur have become.
Say I were to plink away randomly on an acoustic guitar, back it up by holding down a note on a keyboard, and then periodically rasp incomprehensibly through a distortion filter so heavy that not even I could tell what I was supposed to be saying. Then say I were to do that for 75 minutes. Are you asleep just thinking about it? It is criminal how dull this album is. Making the transition to almost an entirely ambient sound, Xasthur still claim to be Black Metal, but a few passages of highly overproduced string flailing and a lot of gargling does not make you qualify as a Black Metal artist. There are no real riffs on here, just places where a cheese grater is dragged over the E string. Most of this 'music' is taken up by keyboards, sound effects, and the drum machine. Even this kind of thing can be done well, but it's not being done well here. Sad to say, but Defective Epitaph is almost totally devoid of anything resembling music, or anything interesting at all. It's not horrible, you won't snap it off in disgust, you'll just start getting veerrrrry sleeeepy. Defective indeed.
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