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Xasthur - To Violate The Oblivious (9/10) - USA - 2004

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Southern Lord Recordings
Playing time: 52:54
Band homepage: Xasthur

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. Xastur Within
  3. Dreams Blacker Than Death
  4. Screaming At Forgotten Fears
  5. Consumed By A Dark Paranoia
  6. Marked by Shadows.
  7. Apparitional Void Of Failure
  8. A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors
  9. Walker Of Dissonant Worlds
Xasthur - To Violate The Oblivious

Well, Malefic is back with another round of transcendental, suicidal and brilliant ambient Black Metal. XASTHUR is one of those rare bands that I can listen to and remember why I bought the albums and like the band in the first place, I also have a soft spot for one man bands. “To Violate the Oblivious” was getting mixed reviews from various sources so I was going into it with mixed feelings I mean; after the great “Telepathic With The Diseased” I didn’t know what to expect is it going to be great, average or horrible, well my friends I am happy to tell you it’s the former. A scary depressive one man Black Metal machine whose tunes are so dark and black they make coal miners blush.

 

The album starts off with “Intro” a two minute song that sets the stage for a macabre performance starring one man and his personal daemons. Right when “Intro” ends “Xastur Within” starts up with fairly fast drumming and Malefic’s vocals, err, well I should say voice(s) as it doesn’t really sound like he is singing. “Screaming At Forgotten Fears” might be my favorite song on the album. I love the simple drumming and the riff in this song is very awesome, along with the keyboards as well, the melody in this song is just so evil sounding, something about it, I loved al eight minutes of this song.

 

“Apparitional Void Of Failure” is a more melodic song as you can actually hear the guitars music as well as the keyboard melody, something in this song makes it scarier than the last few though and that is because Malefic is not alone in this song, there are many voices accompanying him during this song and it’s quite disturbing but very atmospheric and it really sounds like some sort of recorded version of death. “A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors” makes it return on this album after only being on the older EP. I was much happier with this version as it sounds much better and adds a few more keyboards parts along with more active guitars. The way the song ends with the winding down and becoming out of tune is very awesome sounding. This song is a twelve minute opus to how Malefic feels. “Walker Of Dissonant Worlds” is a much more guitar based instrumental that feature great melody and twin guitar work, a very great sounding song that brings an ending to the play.

 

So, if you like your Black Metal to be ambient, intelligent and scary then you will have no regrets of seeking out a copy of this album. The aural assault of the fading guitars and keyboards will please the black of the black or the musically inclined who have a good ear for picking out melodies. This album is a play and the star of the play is Malefic’s voice during his long apostrophes with the guitar and keyboards painting a background scene for his pain and sorrow. An amazing listen that gets better each time, if you can find a copy get it, you won’t be disappointed. (Online July 15, 2006)

Sam Becherer



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