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No masterpiece, not even close - 50%

HS, June 12th, 2009

Xasthur must be one of the most overrated bands in today's black metal scene. I honestly tried to understand what is so great about this band or this album before I finally realised that the answer is "nothing". Well, let's say "almost nothing". There might indeed be some good parts in the songs which I could remember if I wouldn’t fall into sleep every time I'm listening to them.

Well okay, it's not AS bad, but just incredibly mediocre. Its monotonous (but not in a good way, like using hypnotizing riffs and drum patterns to achieve some kind of trance-inducing effect and so on) and boring, and hardly contains any highlights. There are two or three mediocre riffs in a song that are repeated on and on and nothing happens at all. That would be acceptable if the riffs or melodies were memorable and interesting, but I don't find anything special in these songs. I also don't like the sound of the drums, which are made by computer and don't sound very good or natural at all. The vocals - a trademark of Xasthur, consist of distorted, hateful, almost incomprehensible screams and are actually okay.

For me, the first song "Xasthur Within", the dark and eerie "Apparitional Void of Failure", and the sorrowful instrumental "Walker Of Dissonant Worlds" are the only songs that stand out on this album. If there were more decent songs like these, and a real drummer, I'd maybe give it a higher rating.

However, there are Xasthur releases that I like more than this one (for example "Suicide In Dark Serenity" or the split with Leviathan) but my opinion remains the same: this band is highly overrated.