without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Giygas is real, and he's using the entity known as Xothist to transmit his essence into our world.
Xothis play a bizarre, uncomfortable mixture of black metal, darkwave, and dark ambient. The first song features these clean guitars that play these slow, disjointed chords before transitioning into these dark ambient keyboards. I must say, those creepy clean guitars remind me of Belketre for some reason. The black metal is no slouch when it comes to creepy strangeness either. It's shrouded in this amorphous cloud of distortion that consumes all it comes across.
The drums are a slow-paced affair, and the double bass creates a murky, muddy foundation. The vocals are of a Xasthurian nature. They're agonized, shrouded in distortion, and sound like the screams of an eldritch horror. The guitars are just as dark and villainous. Some of the riffs have a depressive black metal feel. Other riffs remind me of the LLN. Others have a post-punk vibe to them. Overall, they present a perfect mix of anger, despair, and melody.
Finally, there are the dark ambient sections. The sounds Xothist uses conjure up different things for many people. For me, the dark ambient section on the third track reminds me of an abandoned quarry. The dark ambient section on track four brings to mind an abandoned playground. The grass is dead, the chains on the swing set have rusted away. These dark ambient elements are a perfect reflection of solitude, misery, and decay.
Xothist is the closest thing I've heard to a black metal manifestation of Giygas. It's dark, bizarre, unsettling, and completely incomprehensible. However, I love this band for its inventiveness. They managed to combine black metal with darkwave and dark ambient in a way that is unsettling and doesn't feel out of place or tacked on.
By being a debut release a new artist, this album does quite well. From the mystical soundscapes to the epic guitar riffs, this album has all that an astral black metal fan wants. The quality of this album is not that well; I often hear too mush distortion and not enough instrumentation or vocals. The drums take control of the sound several times. But this is black metal…Who cares about sound quality? Even if what I hear is white noise all the time, there is a reason why the artist put that there. This demo only sounds like noise if I have it as quiet background music, or start listening half way into the song.
Now onto the instrumentation, the intro track is only Dan on his guitar. The guitar play is not technical or fast, but creates a spooky, “out-of-this-world” atmosphere. He seems to know how to create emotional and surreal realities through his guitar work. This music is not something to listen to if the purpose is to get revved up for a basketball game, this music is to inspire artists to draw magical pictures, authors to write compelling novels, and musicians to step up their game.
Throughout the rest of the demo, I continue to hear the simple yet incredible guitar work spawned from Dan. The drums, whenever played, often dominate the tracks, and seem to remind me of punk rock. Hopefully later on in his career, Dan will be able to tune down the drums as what Darkspace has done.
As last thoughts go, this demo shows promise of a great black metal project. The drums are what keep my rating from perfect. The soundscapes are great in this demo, as is the guitar work. I will be looking forward to any new releases Xothist may record.