It’s hard to imagine, let alone take seriously, black metal bands that fall under the category of “kvlt” (or “cult” for those of you who aren’t purist fags) who release music that doesn’t appeal to a specific following. In the case of Xasthur (a one man band lead by basement dweller Malefic), this is quite true but take a look at where his music is created for a real shock. When black metal is mentioned, typically you put yourself in the cold, snowy mountains of Norway (Darkthrone, Emperor) or the temperate forests of Oregon (Wolves in the Throne Room). Either way, black metal is, and will always be, the ultimate escapism into the dark side of nature due to its historical roots and prolific scene that flourishes on hate, death, and the destruction of man. As for Xasthur, how the hell can you justify creating painfully depressing black metal in the sunny state of California? I mean, some of the worst clichés/ movies/ The Hills can be found pussing out of Arnold’s domain, but one trip to some of coastal cities will reveal a state with many beautiful environmentally significant areas. Whatever’s in the air with the sunny State of California severely has Malefic in a cut-my-wrist mood.
Beginning in typical black metal fashion, an ominous keyboard intro leads into one of the best tracks on the record. Notably speaking, “Xasthur Within” has to be one of the most diverse tracks to ever come from Malefic with its buzz saw guitars, spacious/ deeply disturbing atmosphere and a few well-placed changeups in the rhythm section. From here on in (and after a few spins of the disc), you will begin to realize that the droning of lo-fi atmosphere and Malefic’s barely audible screeches really begin to take its toll on you. Whether this was intentional or not, the album begins to turn into an ear gouger of sorts by the song “Consumed by a Dark Paranoia” and further instils a deeper sense of dreary apathy into the listener. This can be an absolute plus to anyone who enjoys listening to this type of depressing music. For the most part though, this type of desolate black metal can be simply too much to bear or can make you holler in laughter.
What more is there to say about a man who prides himself on gloom and has probably never seen the light of day in sunny California? This will most likely please most fans of lo-fi black metal and even surprise a few who are interested in the genre. But that isn’t saying much since Xasthur only caters to those who seek refuge in the darkness. All in all, if you’re seeking out something new in the black metal scene, To Violate the Oblivious might make you go postal on yourself.
California has lead to a few good bands that don't fall into the nu-metal or pop-punk catagory. Mindrot, Eyes of Fire, Fear of God, Psychotic Waltz...
Oh man, if I made any unintentional pot shots at California's music scene, I apologize hahaha. Tool is one of my favourites and they ironically sing about California dropping off into the ocean hahaha.
Oh right, I forgot about all of those awesome punk bands I used to listen to back in the day from the state. It's more about the movies/ televisions shows that make me cringe. I'm Canadian and I did my best with my knowledge on California.
I will visit the state one day ; ). Plus, California is the home to one of the oldest and biggest trees on earth (Sequoiadendron giganteum); having strong interests in botanical gardens/ landscape design of course hahaha.
I bet Malefic would love to chat about trees......
To quote my cousin who lives in Northern California: "I just got a phone call from my great-aunt in New York. She said that she'd rather be here with me in sunny ol' California. I don't think she believed me when I said my car was buried under 4 feet of snow."
You will most likely despise this Willie. I know you enjoyed the Black Cascade but this is black metal that will make you cringe. Sure comparing the two is dumb, but that's the only black metal I know you love. They are both atmospheric but Wolves utilizes the atmosphere and creates awesome songs around it while Xasthur seems to like to hit repeat on the buzz noise production, making you want to kill yourself.
"I just got a phone call from my great-aunt in New York. She said that she'd rather be here with me in sunny ol' California. I don't think she believed me when I said my car was buried under 4 feet of snow."
That was here too in Canada this year. Thanks for the props redsky.
You will most likely despise this Willie. I know you enjoyed the Black Cascade but this is black metal that will make you cringe. Sure comparing the two is dumb, but that's the only black metal I know you love.
Honestly, my taste in black metal seems to run similar to Hawks (except I know these bands aren't anything special). I like the first two Emperor albums, Dimmu Borgir, Ancient, Graveworm, Old Man's Child, etc.