I was relatively late to the game on black metal, but it quickly rose to being one of my favorite genres of music. The haunting atmosphere alone is something that I get great enjoyment out of and while many bands play within this now-massive genre, I hold Xasthur to be one of the all-time best. I could have chosen one of a thousand bands to feature in this spot, but Xasthur is where I landed.
There is something eerie and unsettling about most Xathur material, but there is something specific to “Defective Epitaph” that hits me. It may be the atonal guitars and other string instruments or it may be the overall contrast from slower, atmospheric parts into harsh, stunning blasts of emotion. Maybe a mixture of everything? It’s unclear.
I do know that the shift from “Purgatory Spiral” to “Cemetery of Shattered Masks” (the latter being my favorite track on this album) is a gorgeous transition and shows the differentiating sides of Xathur’s black metal atmospherics.
Bordering on funeral dooming black metal at times, Malefic knows exactly how to craft a distrubing record. Every vocal is haunting, every track sounds like it was recorded inside of a tin can underwater (which is most definitely a compliment, fyi) and as I’ve said over and over, the feeling of dread and uneasiness is a high mark for this genre.
Another favorite track is “Funerals Drenched In Apathy” which is a slow and dreary track. This is a perfect rainy day soundtrack. I could babble on and on about Xasthur and “Defective Epitaph,” but just lisen to it. It’s the shit. Also, I’m linking to One Man Metal, a documentary that features Xasthur as well as Striborg and Leviathan. Awesome stuff.