AlbumsNovember 29, 20118,228 views

Xasthur A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors


Disc: 1 01. Intro 02. Moon Shrouded in Misery, Pt. 1 03. Suicide in Dark Serenity 04. Dwelling Beneath the Woods 05. Cursed Be the Memory of Light 06. Possession 07. Spell Within the Winds 08. Storms of Red Revenge, Pt. 2 09. Storms of Red Revenge, Pt. 1 10. Eternal Empire of Majesty Death/Mütiilation Cover 11. Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors 12. Kingdom of Burning Crucifixions 13. Moon Shrouded in Misery, Pt. 2 14. Black Spell of Destruction/Burzum Cover 15. Lost Behind Bloodstained Mirrors Disc: 2 01. Conjuration of Terror [First Attempt w/O Vox] 02. Tyrant of Nightmares 03. Doomed by Howling Winds 04. Middle Ages Return 05. (What Became) The Funeral of Being
2008 Hydra Head Records
Our score 8

2/16/2008

Genocide is the ultimate goal, the ultimate dream as is the most fair and deserving thing to solve all the problems and hypocrisies of this world. We are all asking for it, whether we know it or not! – Malefic Writing this review has proven to be far more difficult than I imagined it would be, as this is the first record by Xasthur I have had the privilege of hearing, and quite frankly, I am at somewhat of a loss for words. Recorded in 2000/01 and initially issued on a mere 150 CD-Rs, Hydrahead Records has remastered and released the definitive version of this "crucial transitional release in Xasthur's blackened oeuvre." For those of you new to this artist, Xasthur is the vehicle through which the notoriously solitary and unapproachable Malefic (née Scott Conner) communicates to the world an unending stream of hopelessness and utter despair. A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors is his crude, offal discharge: an austere and sparse collection of some of the most intensely depressing and hate-filled black metal there is. Unlike some of the more prototypical examples of contemporary European/Norwegian black metal (I am thinking of bands like Marduk, Emperor, and Satyricon), Malefic channels his bleak visions through beautiful—albeit decidedly lo-fi—home recordings complete with layer upon layer of extremely fuzzy down-tuned guitar, bass, programmed drums, and an array of synths filtered through a miscellany of effects. There are few points during A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors where vocals feature prominently; Malefic's piercing, wraith-like howl seems reserved for only the most brutal and epic moments. Upon first listen, one can only marvel at the lushness of sound that Malefic is able to capture with such seemingly confining technology. His compositions demand patience of the listener, as songs tend to develop in a linear manner, slowly gathering momentum over time and often culminating in a frenzied apotheosis of suffocating doom. A simple melody played on either guitar or keyboards becomes submerged in a psychedelic wash of layered guitars and synths, through which singular themes emerge, disappear, and reappear. There is an operatic quality to A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors only realized through sustained listens of the work as a whole. My only qualm with the recording is that at times, the programmed drums leave a little to be desired in the creativity department. With song titles like "Suicide in Dark Serenity" and "Kingdom of Burning Crucifixions," it is clear that thematically, Xasthur do not stray far from the ideas so eloquently conveyed in the epigraph to this review. "You may think I'm writing about my own misery," qouth Malefic in a recent interview, "but I'm really writing about yours." In a sense, A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors can be interpreted as a funeral dirge for the human race, a savage, mono-aural requiem of blackness. Bottom Line: It is obvious why this album is being re-released: almost seven years ago, Xasthur delivered an intensely deep and accessible slice of black metal brutality in A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors. Don't let the quality of the recording dampen the listening experience, for a home recording actually brings an austere brand of bleak ambience to the black metal experience, further emphasizing the misanthropic doom captured therein. Do yourself the service of giving this record a listen.

22 comments

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anonymous 2/16/2008 10:23:51 AM

first post


anonymous 2/16/2008 10:27:53 AM

Excellent first review.


anonymous 2/16/2008 10:45:27 AM

Xasthur > 90% of the shit people like around here


anonymous 2/16/2008 12:05:29 PM

let this dude review more stuff. oh, and stop reviewing shitty f*cking shitty garbage.


anonymous 2/16/2008 12:27:11 PM

finally someone with half of a f*cking brain. good review/good band


anonymous 2/16/2008 2:02:11 PM

Malefic showered after gym class in his underwear


FDB_ 2/16/2008 3:58:43 PM

Let this guy write more reviews.


arty_mcfarty_ 2/16/2008 4:54:36 PM

this guy is like a mini gluck his review was almost as absurdly shitty


arty_mcfarty_ 2/16/2008 4:55:28 PM

ok, maybe i'm just grumpy.....i guess the review was ok


hussle_ 2/16/2008 6:11:08 PM

malefic ate his lunch in the bathroom


wizards beard_ 2/16/2008 8:50:32 PM

Good review, sweet record.


m._ 2/16/2008 9:07:48 PM

Surprised to see all of the positive comments. Hope the dude gets a better handle on the real drums for all future shit though.


hotplate_ 2/16/2008 9:54:06 PM

daniel letchinger graduated from grinnell college with a b.a. in history in 2007. the first concert he attended was megadeth at the aragon ballroom in chicago, il. he was 13; it was awesome. daniel letchinger encourages you to listen to black sabbath. -- NICE REVIEW...FOR A gay! YOU gay.


I_AM_FUCK_ 2/17/2008 7:51:12 AM

Reviewer's a definite virgin.


Evilf22_ 2/18/2008 10:13:15 AM

good review, and im glad to see a review of a relevant band. hopefully this is a sign of things to come, as opposed to the flavor of the week type shit thats usually reviewed here.


cantfakethepunk_ 2/18/2008 5:54:31 PM

this band blows alot! what a way to review a shitty band


_atab_joey_bishop__ 2/18/2008 8:07:07 PM

Two disc set? LOL, the ocean did it better.


anonymous 2/19/2008 1:51:11 AM

Not a fan of the band, but good to see actual metal being reviewed and taken seriously, rather than the garbage this site usually covers.


swampthangbitches_ 2/19/2008 3:08:13 AM

great album and oh finally a good lg review


KoreanKibbles_ 2/20/2008 11:11:14 PM

As always, lol @ LG trying to review black metal. Stick to your breakdowns guys.


morgroth_ 2/26/2008 3:11:37 PM

black metal for gays !!!!! americans will never learn how to play real black metal !!! NEVER!


Gluck_Is_A_Faggot_ 2/28/2008 11:50:38 AM

that track listing alone is so f*cking pretentious, I would never listen to this nerd doom crap.