Xasthur
Telepathic With The Deceased


3.5
great

Review

by Hawks USER (71 Reviews)
December 24th, 2010 | 55 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A very good release from a band that is considered to be below-average.

There's something about the USBM band Xasthur that everyone just loves to hate. Every single time this band gets mentioned it's usually someone trashing them, saying how boring they are and how they're by far the worst representation of the black metal scene in the United States. To tell you the truth, I really don't see the reason for all the hate whatsoever, at least on Telepathic With the Deceased. Alright, so Xasthur isn't the most original band you'll find, nor the greatest and they have had some below-average albums, but they sure as hell get the job done if you're in the mood for something nihilistic and hateful, that's for damn sure. By the sounds of that description you probably could've guessed that this band opts for the more suicidal and/or depressing side of the black metal genre. Usually you'll see this band compared to U.S. counterparts Leviathan. Malefic, who is the only member of Xasthur, and Wrest, the sole member of Leviathan, have worked together on several occasions and yes there music is very similar. But there are some key differences so don't think this is just a Leviathan clone.

First of all, the thing you'll either love or hate about this album is the way the vocals are produced. They're the lowest thing in the mix and they're pretty much completely buried underneath the sound of the guitars and drums. Can this possibly be a bad thing? Yes. Does it take away from the album? No, not at all. If you're not used to muddy production then you're going to have a hard time with this album. It's as simple as that. The effects on Malefic's vocals have them so far buried underneath everything that you have to pay attention for the whole duration of the album to really hear them and form an opinion on them. Once you do that, you'll realize that it's actually a really good vocal performance. The sound of his voice varies at points on this album. Normally you'll hear an extremely distorted shriek, not that uncommon in black metal, but executed very well and the distortion adds a nice unique touch. Another thing you'll hear is an extremely, literally demonic sounding growl, which also has the distortion effect to it. That vocal style is most prominent on the title track and is a nice change of pace if you're for some reason getting tired of the shrieks.

Instrumentally, Malefic really knows how to put you into that trance like state. It might get tiresome over the course of 6 or 7 albums, but for this album he does an excellent job. There's no more than one or two riffs presented to the listener in each song, but they certainly do what they're meant to do, which is create an atmosphere. There's also a doom influence, which isn't too uncommon in depressive black metal such as this. Take for example the riff on May Your Void Become as Deep as My Hate! Now it's the only riff on the song, but the melancholic vibe you get from that opening riff all the way through the end of the song is absolutely intoxicating and is probably the best riff you'll hear on this album. One thing you will notice about this album is that the drumming really doesn't have too much of an effect. It's just basic stuff to keep the rhythm of the album in order. But hey, you don't need technical drumming in this type of music, so it gets the job done just as well. I'm not going to get too much into the lyrics, but all you need to know if you're not familiar with this genre is that they lyrics are all about suicide, depression, and hate for mankind. So if you're not in the mood to listen to something that will make you feel like that, then move on to another album.

Like I mentioned earlier, this album isn't something that is going to revolutionize the black metal genre nor will it be an album that people will look back on as one of the greatest. But this is a pretty great album in it's own right and it accomplishes everything it means to accomplish and the flack that this band gets really isn't deserved all that much. They have had some bad releases, but Telepathic With the Deceased is the best album in their catalogue and fans of this type of black metal will most likely enjoy it. Some people might find it to be a demanding listen because of the length, which is just under an hour, but the time isn't really a factor at all. If you're able to go into that hypnotic state like you're meant to do then it won't seem like it's that long whatsoever.



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user ratings (73)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hawks
December 24th 2010


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This one needed a review. Album is really good, despite what everyone thinks of the band.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 24th 2010


8819 Comments


nice one, never been much of a fan of Xasthur but I do like a handful of tracks. might check this out.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Hawks
December 24th 2010


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is much better than everything else I've heard from them. May Your Void Become as Deep as My Hate! is such a great song.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 24th 2010


8819 Comments


it's on my list. pos.

Hawks
December 24th 2010


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks broseph.

Terrifyer
December 24th 2010


3403 Comments


nocturnal poisoning
is bro tastic

Hawks
December 24th 2010


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That one was pretty good too. Haven't heard it in a long time though. Balls seems to really like their newest one.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2010


16388 Comments


I've never liked anything I've heard by this guy. At best its painfully average.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

Hawks
December 24th 2010


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's how it is for most people. I mean this album isn't anything that you're going to jizz over, but it's still really good.

eternium
December 24th 2010


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've only heard a few songs from him and they were pretty great.

Hawks
December 24th 2010


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well you should definitely check this one out then.

FilthyBorgir
December 24th 2010


1334 Comments


Good review.

Hawks
December 24th 2010


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks man.

Wizard
December 24th 2010


19399 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is Malefic's best. Good review Hawks.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

FilthyBorgir
December 24th 2010


1334 Comments


No problem man.

Hawks
December 24th 2010


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hell yes Wiz, and thanks. What would you say is your favorite song here? And Filthy you should check this out.

FilthyBorgir
December 24th 2010


1334 Comments


I might check it out but you said it has muddy production, so I'm gonna be iffy whether to listen or not.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2010


17213 Comments


Scott Conner needs to stop making music.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

Terrifyer
December 24th 2010


3403 Comments


derp it has black metal production

this isnt btbam

BallsToTheWall
December 24th 2010


44333 Comments


Good review.

I would like to put out a review for Portal of Sorrow before the new year but unlikely.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon



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