Xasthur is a one man depressive black metal band spawning out of Alhambra, California and this is Malefic‘s new album, and the last under the title “Xasthur”. When the album Portal of Sorrow starts off it’s abundantly clear that this isn’t Dimmu Burger production cost black metal. This is a guy in a basement or small house doing what he loves. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on this release. The whole album is plagued by terrible production, even for what it is (lo-fi black metal). Most, if not all of the ambient noises used sound atrocious. They’re tonally awful, and the composition of them doesn’t make sense and comes of as a bunch of random bits being thrown about at random to create a false layer of depth. Choir vocals are splattered all over the place like it’s instant art/ambiance.  The guitars sound dreadful, with really awkward and often out of place riffs. I’m sure I’ve heard better synthesized guitars. The whole album has absolutely no feeling behind it, not even backing his vocals which was always one of Malefic’s finer attributes, I believe. A depressive black metal album with no emotion is just fuckawful black metal, and this is the evidence.

-MW

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