This is the first full length offering from this black metal band from California. Spirit
of metal lists 2 performers for the band, but I think that this album was a one man effort, the work of Malefic. My 2 disc set is the 2004 reissue. The first disc is very good, but the second disc was recorded in mono, instead of stereo, and the quality sounds like absolute crap. So I don't even bother listening to the 2nd disc.
The music is played at a medium to slow tempo and is very atmospheric. Inside
of the album is more art, a painting depicts many people and dogs slain, as if a massacre had taken place. When I bought this album in 2006, there was a sticker on the cellophane wrapper, that said something like "here is Xasthur
in all of his miserable glory". I don't find this music as miserable, but more relaxing, I like to unwind with creepy black metal. The music can be characterized as cold, grim, and raw (as in underproduced). Most of the songs are instumentals. The few songs that do have lyrics are about black magic, death, and hatred.
The intro is a spooky song played with a synthesizer. Then next is Moon
Shrouded In Misery
. It starts off with Burzum
like grinding and then switches gears with a spooky melody. There are many diverse dimensions(a bizarre approach of multi tracking) to this polyphonic collection of songs. Thrashy bass riffs in the background, a muffled screaming voice in the background. Haunting keyboard melodies, etc. His songs are composed in many layers. At any given time a particular instrument's volume will be turned up, to emphasize that melody, while the volume of other instruments will be turned down to subdue their effect. In the middle of the song, Suicide in Dark Serenity
, is a guitar riff(played repeatedly) that sounds like a voice saying "insane." Dwelling Beneath
The Woods is a nicely composed song that reminds me of Burzum
Be The Memory Of Light jumps back at you with a faster tempo and catchier melody. The acoustic guitar rhythms seem fit to be played at a funeral. Possession
is a spooky song punctuated by the creepy synthesizer play. Spell
Within The Winds
is a little more lively, with another Burzum
like song, with a hateful mood.
The songs are very cyclic. They back and forth between atmospheric spooky music and a Burzum
like morbid sound. My favorite song on the album is Eternal Empire Majesty
, which is a Death/Mutilation
cover. It sounds cool as hell with the distorted effects. Similar bands are Krohm
, and of course Burzum
. There is also a Burzum
cover of the song, Black Spell
, on this album.
This album has a horrifying and misanthropic air about it, so I highly recommend this album for fans of Blut Aus Nord