Xasthur - Nocturnal Poisoning CD Review

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2008-10-12 : Samhain Mist
When I first got into Black Metal and other various genres of Metal, it was because I wanted music that was, for lack of a better term, otherworldly. I grew sick of all the cock rock Aerosmith/KISS/Van Halen nonsense about partying and having sex. I wanted something darker, that acknolwedged, at least on some level, a more occultic side of life. I discovered Emperor, Darkthrone, and Mayhem and I became a fan instantly.

Then a few years back I came across this CD on sale for seven dollars right here on Red Stream. I did not know how to pronounce the name (though it turns out I was saying it right all along) but I figured I'd take a chance and see what it was like. Sure I expected typical BM, another Darkthrone rip off, but what I got sounded more like something out of HP Lovecrafts world than a foray into the drunken Darkthrone forests. When Xasthur (Malefic) plays, it's as if a portal to a realm we can barely comprehend opens up and threatens to drive us into a mad frenzy. It's more nightmarish than I could ever expect music to be, and whats more is that lyrics play little if any real prominant role in the songs. Their strength relies on Malefics ability to touch the deepest, darkest part of our minds that we either ignore or don't know exist. Whether that was his intention I do not know, but he has surely crafted a legacy of truly otherworldly, terrifying (and sometimes morbidly beautiful) noise. To call this depressive is a vast understatement. This is the sound of the Abyss itself......
2004-07-30 : Abbadon
A great depressive black metal piece, makes me think back to the old burzum days. If your like me and spend hours listening in the dark this is perfect.

The stand out tracks are Black Imperial Blood (mutiilation cover), and A walk beyond utter blackness

Hails, enjoy
2004-05-31 : Aeres
I bought this CD expecting just ordinary Black Metal done the Darkthrone way. I was very much impressed when I heard this thing, it not being like anything I have ever heard before. Its so very bleak and full of a hopeless atmospherics that it sounds like it came from another dimension where all that exists is cold darkness and utter misery. The only thing it reminds me of in parts is old Burzum, yet Malefic has crafted his own glorious sound and should be acknowledged for this. I look forward to more. A warning to anyone expecting something with clean production. This is distant sounding, so if so called "bad" production turns you off, this may not be for you. The production only adds to the atmosphere.
2004-04-20 : Penumbra : Link
This CD is great, I listen to it almost everyday.

Ever song flows with thick guitar and keyboards, and finally, a band that dosnt have cheesy keyboards!

Buy IMMEDIATLY if you like kvlt depressing black metal.
2004-03-18 : Bishop Hell
Now this is nothing short of a black metal masterpiece! Buy! Buy! Buy!
2003-09-05 : Vorfeed : Link
Artist: Xasthur
Album Title: Nocturnal Poisoning
Label: Blood Fire Death

This is the second full-length album from Xasthur, a one-man American band that plays cold, depressive black metal.

For the most part, the guitar here is a thick, Burzumesque multilayered drone, through which clear riffs occasionally appear. The drums are so low in the mix that they're nearly non-existent, though this is honestly a plus, as they don't break the seemingly endless flow of the music. This release is heavy on the keyboards - one can hear a definite Manes influence in the way they float above the rest of the music, providing a counterpoint for the rest of the music. Vocals are screamed, and seem quite far away when compared to the rest of the mix.

Xasthur's songwriting is very complex. Most of the time, several layers of guitar and sustained keyboards will be sounding, only to be suddenly replaced by a minimalist guitar or key breakdown. Once the breakdown is done, a subtly shifted version of the original melody returns. This style creates a bleak, oppressive atmosphere of inevitable disaster, one that both calms and unnerves the listener.

The production also deserves mention. Some might claim that it's not clear enough, but I would call it absolutely perfect. Quiet sections are perfectly audible, yet once a few more layers of sound are added, the guitar and keys fade together into a wall of echoing noise. Add to this the genius mixing job on the vocals, which seems to set them far beyond this world, and you've got a production that complements the music brilliantly.

I can't praise this album enough. Though the Burzum and Manes influences are quite clearly heard, there's some extraordinary creativity on display here, enough to make this essential for any devotee of raw, depressive black metal. Those who enjoy this should also seek Xasthur's first album, "A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors".

Standout tracks: "In the Hate of Battle", "A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors", "A Walk Beyond Utter Blackness"

2002-10-27 : Infernal Fields 'zine (ITALY) : Link
This disc is the kind of album that can depicting to you the most depressive, dark and melancholic side of BM. It's about 70 minutes of anguish, listening to the hateful screams of the singer, accompanied by slow riffs, wrapping keyboards (here used in a really cool way, not like all the keyboard oriented shit) and so on. This album is one of the kind you should listen alone with your feelings, not other ways to play it. The sole member of the band, Malefic (interviewed here), has composed and realised really a cool album, with the power to hold you in a depressive dimension for all its length, something that is not so easy to find in nowadays BM. I suggest this Cd to all those who like to listen to music that can transmit dark feelings to the listener; those who are searching for easy listening disc of "headbanging" extreme metal, should stay away.