Suicide In Dark Serenity
This is a mini-LP from Xasthur, a one-man American band that
plays cold, depressive black metal.
Side A of "Suicide in Dark Serenity" starts off with an instrumental
that has to be one of the strangest intros ever put to record. It's a
wall of synth, effects, and tortured vocals, so bizarre that it was
difficult to decide if I was even playing it at the correct speed.
Next, a simple drumbeat kicks in, and the black metal begins. The key
word here is "obscure" - the guitar, synth, samples, and vocals are not
so much layered as they are blended, creating a mass of noise. Here and
there, the other instruments drop out, leaving one to stand alone in
haunting counterpoint to the previous melody. Sound by sound, the melody
is then rebuilt. This constant tension between clarity and obscurity
gives Xasthur's music a deeply depressive quality.
Once again, I find myself impressed with the production on
Xasthur's albums. Important melodies are clearly discernable, but
everything else fades to a drone that gives amazing depth to the
music. Even the vocals share this treatment. They're perfectly audible,
yet distant, as if heard underwater. It's quite a distinctive effect, and
one that fits the music well.
This album is similar in style to "Nocturnal Poisoning", but "Suicide
in Dark Serenity" seems to advance the ideas of its predecessor, leading
to a more unique sound. Hopefully this is a taste of what's in store for
Xasthur's next CD, as a full-length album of this quality would be
Standout tracks: "Suicide in Dark Serenity", "With Hate Freezing My Veins"
© 2003 vorfeed