Xasthur - To Violate The Oblivious review


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Band: Xasthur
Album: To Violate The Oblivious
Release date: 2004

01. Intro
02. Xastur Within
03. Dreams Blacker Than Death
04. Screaming At Forgotten Fears
05. Consumed By A Dark Paranoia
06. Marked By Shadows
07. Apparitional Void Of Failure
08. A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors
09. Walker Of Dissonant Worlds

When terms like anti-life, nihilism and suicide become part of the atmosphere music evokes or, to say it better, when music is the outcome of anti-life, nihilistic and suicidal emotions then you really know what to expect, something extremely deep and utterly depressive that leaves scars on the listener's soul. Malefic, the one and only sullen soul behind Xasthur, knows well the art of suicide and how to present it through wailing and bleeding ambient-oriented suicidal black metal soundscapes and this is what he did, for one more time, with "To Violate the Oblivious".

Despite not being their best effort up to date, "To Violate the Oblivious" remains a really good and decent work with Malefic proving for one more time that he still has a lot to offer to the scene. The production is blurry and noisy, yet this doesn't effect that much the overall outcome, on the contrary, it makes the compositions sound more haunting and asphyxiating, passing their message through in a more dreadful way. Sometimes some of the instruments seem to sound weaker in the overall outcome, but who cares anyway, the whole work breathes death, depression and suicide in such an intense way that you really can't bother thinking of this factor.

The whole atmosphere of "To Violate the Oblivious" is so fragile and so bitter at the same time that suffocates the listener through the melodies that echo, through these tormented screams from beyond, through the negative emotions that rise more and more with the flow of the compositions. The guitar work is utterly mourning, violating gently the oblivious with its razorblade and blurry sound, sounding quite emotional in its own weeping way. Some simplistic floating keyboard melodies are present for sure and they make the whole atmosphere more terrifying and menacing in a way, they are definitely well-put in the album. As for the rhythm section the drumming is the part of it we can hear mostly through the whole duration of "To Violate the Oblivious", whether it has an accompanying funereal tone or sounds more imposing and upbeat. The bass guitar adds volume to the walls of sound/noise with its pulse whenever it sounds. The vocals are screaming and they echo from beyond in a deeply tormented and eerie way, completing the sweet like slumber, yet doleful and despondent like death atmosphere of Xasthur.

If you're searching for some deep, soul-crushing, suicidal music with a lethargic touch then you shouldn't miss Xasthur for sure, they have better releases like "Nocturnal Poisoning", but I don't think that "To Violate the Oblivious" will disappoint you, so go forth, pass the gates of bereavement and cherish the beauty of suffering…

Highlights: The ominous "Xastur Within", the desolate and fragile "Screaming At Forgotten Fears" and the upbeat "Marked By Shadows".


Written on 24.01.2006 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments: 8   Visited by: 85 users
19.09.2006 - 23:21
great album. I don't see this inferior to Nocturnal Poisoning, but that's just me. if i didn't new Xasthur before, after this review I would defenetly get my hands on this album.
Blessed is he that murders Christ in himself and in his fellow men.

Written by TheBigRossowski on 10.02.2009 at 16:01

if my wife and I can't conceive, I want a medical shipment of your sperm so our baby will be just like you.
19.09.2006 - 23:27
Thanks a lot for the positive feedback Damnated I totally love this album, but Nocturnal Poisoning had slightly something more to say to me, but that's just me as well! Can't wait to listen to their new album! Ho ho ho! Suicide! Mouahaha!
Dec. 30, 1334.

...And the whiskey and wine entered our veins when blood was too weak to carry on.
20.09.2006 - 00:40
Account deleted
This is the only Xasthur album I had listened a lot to, but this band doesn't really hook me... I think their only extremely positive element are the vocals (among the best on the genre), but the whole music is rather boring. But yes, I agree hat it can be terrifying by times.
20.09.2006 - 16:06
the new album is also good, but sometimes to distorted. btw I never got the suicidal feeling from Xasthur, so I'm amazed that it's a widey acepted point of view. or maybe I'm used to this feeling, and I don't notice it anymore
Blessed is he that murders Christ in himself and in his fellow men.

Written by TheBigRossowski on 10.02.2009 at 16:01

if my wife and I can't conceive, I want a medical shipment of your sperm so our baby will be just like you.
10.05.2007 - 00:53
Empty Spaces
Unburied At Dusk
This is one of my favorites! "Apparitional Void Of Failure" is one of the most depressive songs I've heard from Xasthur... great vocals...
13.04.2008 - 10:47
Liver Failure
best xasthur album... a must have for everyone that loves atmospheric black metal!!!

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
24.03.2011 - 03:09
Doit Like Bernie
As much as I really like listening to this album the constant mistakes/missed notes/abrupt stops etc. really kill the mood. It's too bad because it would be a much for fluent journey otherwise.
26.09.2011 - 04:05
Definitely the best Xasthur album in my opinion. Malefic's vocals are one of a kind.

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