Xasthur - To Violate the Oblivious
Total Holocaust Records
Depressive Black Metal
9 songs (52:54)
Release year: 2004
Xasthur, Total Holocaust Records
Reviewed by Daniel

As most of you know, 2004 was a very productive year for the American Black Metal potency Xasthur. Not every band is capable of releasing so much material in a single year (two full lengths and four split albums), and certainly not every band is able to make most of their work interesting. Well dear readers, Malefic managed to do both.

This album is the second full length Malefic released in 2004, and it doesn’t show any signs of departing from his well established sound. Depressive aura and melodies, angst ridden vocals, apocalyptic keys & synth (with some epic sounding moments here and there), minimal guitar and drum work, and in general more of the same mid/slow paced depressive Black Metal that has made Xasthur one of the most hailed Black Metal bands to emerge from the USA in this recent years.

If you compare this album to previous Xasthur albums you’ll find that there are two main differences. First of all the production, which is clearer than in previous efforts; in my personal opinion that wasn't a very wise move because it makes the dream like effect of Xasthur's music less present, small details like making the drums a bit higher in the mix make the trance-like feeling less powerful. The second very noticeable change is that the music structures are a bit easier to digest, maybe this is due to the fact that after listening to Xasthur for some time you get used to his music, but overall I feel the music a bit more coherent.

In my personal view, I feel Malefic is beginning to repeat himself and that he must be careful in order to avoid falling into redundancy; now we might love the formula that he uses, but in the future it will become stale.

So the question you’re probably thinking: Which one is better, Telepathic with the Deceased or this one? Well, I guess that it depends. For the people new to Xasthur I would recommend this one because the song structures are more “focused” and the production is cleaner; all in all a great introduction to the band. For those already familiar with Xasthur I would recommend Telepathic with the Deceased, because of it’s more experimental and complex edge, thing that will keep the more “experienced” people interested on the album. And for the absolute Xasthur fans, well, get both!!

Killing Songs :
Dreams Blacker than Death, Screaming at Forgotten Fears and A Gate through Bloodstained Mirrors
Daniel quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Xasthur that we have reviewed:
Xasthur - A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors (Reissue) reviewed by James and quoted no quote
Xasthur - Telepathic with the Deceased reviewed by Daniel and quoted 85 / 100
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