Xasthur
To Violate the Oblivious


3.0
good

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (85 Reviews)
June 16th, 2009 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kvlt in California.

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 pushing 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.



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user ratings (67)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
June 16th 2009


19646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Didn't have alot to say about this album for good reason. Just listen to it and you will agree.

Please enjoy the review people and feel free to pick apart.

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

jingledeath
June 16th 2009


7104 Comments


eh never found this band/guy interesting but review is awesomeness, made me want to not check it out even more.

Wizard
June 16th 2009


19646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hahahahah this is a good album once through. I think Malefic definitely contributed to the lo-fi black metal but his new stuff is just super weak.

Willie
Moderator
June 16th 2009


16149 Comments


Nice review. 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...

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Wizard
June 16th 2009


19646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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.

Willie
Moderator
June 16th 2009


16149 Comments


I was born and raised in San Diego so I pretty much grew up where most of the California cliches were made. We have tons of punk bands but there is a pretty good metal scene too.

Wizard
June 16th 2009


19646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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.

/Foreigner

Willie
Moderator
June 16th 2009


16149 Comments


ha ha, you did fine. I just have to defend the state a little bit, at least.

Wizard
June 16th 2009


19646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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......

Willie
Moderator
June 16th 2009


16149 Comments


That's Northern California. We have Palm Trees in the south part of the state. If you go to Cali than you have to try surfing (not the net).

So, on topic, this is just another craptastic band that should be avoided? I don't know if I've heard a single band that's referred to as "kvlt" that I actually like.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2009


17231 Comments


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."

Nice review.



Wizard
June 16th 2009


19646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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.

illmitch
June 17th 2009


5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

there's another california depressive black metal band called I'm in a Coffin, but i'm pretty sure they're more tongue-in-cheek (seeing as they have a guy named Sad-ist)

combustion07
June 17th 2009


5420 Comments


Awesome review, never heard anything from this guy, didn't know he was from Cali though lol.

Hawks
June 17th 2009


35837 Comments


Everything I've heard from this band has been in the 3 or 3.5 range. My favorite is Telepathic With the Deceased.

rasputin
June 17th 2009


14555 Comments


fantastic review karl. in your honest opinion, will I like this?

Essence
June 17th 2009


3595 Comments


Kvlt in KaliVornia?

Wizard
June 17th 2009


19646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Kvlt in KaliVornia?

Nice.

in your honest opinion, will I like this?

This will most likely make you laugh.

Willie
Moderator
June 17th 2009


16149 Comments


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.

fireaboveicebelow
June 17th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you pulled this off nicely wiz kudos, I'm pretty sure this is his last good album



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