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Xasthur - Subliminal Genocide

Matti Frost   (179 reviews)

Posted: 10/16/2006 | Comments: 7 | Rate:

If you've ever wondered what Nifelheim was like in December, this is an appropriate soundtrack. This isn't usually the kind of metal I listen to. In fact, there are a lot of issues I have with the production, which seems to be intentionally bad. The drums have no definition or punch, the guitars are distorted so much that it's a task to just make out the chords or melody being played.

And yet, despite that, the music that lies underneath is powerful. There is a mood here being expressed, and even the production lends itself to creating this bleak, frozen atmosphere. One from which there is no escape. There were times I wanted to skip a track or just turn this off, but something held my attention. The vocals are probably the most tortured screams I have ever heard. Forget about trying to make out any lyrics, it's as if he's being slowly torn to pieces. Place that over the dark, brooding, and brokenly melodic music... and, like I said. Nifelheim in December. The last place you want to be. A place where every second of existence is a hell worse than fire and brimstone- it's everlasting decay and cold.

Musically speaking, this release straddles the line between doom and black metal. The production, screaming, and gloomy choral vocals are definitely black metal, but the general droning sound, slow drum rhythms, and the general sense of despair and sadness elicit a foreboding I haven't heard in a pure black metal release. I won't say that I love this, because it's hard for me to digest, but I do appreciate it musically- it's a lot more than it seemed to be when it first hit my ears.

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the sandman
36,573 Posts
yeah man fuck a band based completely on the label they're on

8,007 Posts
I like this album.

The Winter's Wrath
7,923 Posts
I'll put Leviathan on my radar screen.

And, what's wrong with Hyrda Head?
east bay grease
68,058 Posts
Hydrahead as been noted to be a bit of a pretentious hipster label... they tend to put out a lot of overpriced limited edition stuff by "post-rock/hardcore/etc" bands like Isis, Daughters, Pelican, These Arms Are Snakes, etc...

not really something to get your panties in a bunch about, but worth noting.

I would highly recommend Wolves In the Throne Room if you like this stuff and care to avoid the kvlt/necro/typical black metal bullshit. Xasthur is great though.
the sandman
36,573 Posts
hyrda head gave us cave in and old man gloom, fuck the haters
26,685 Posts
This album deserves a better rating.
The Winter's Wrath
7,923 Posts
Ah well, there will always be one shining tool in every shed... right Post?

TD- I'm not panning the album by any means, I'm still having a hard time getting through the production. I like that it's making me work my ears a little bit, I just don't know if this is something I'd spin every day.

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