Xasthur – Split W/ LEVIATHAN CD

xasthur_032707_leviathan-spThis material initially came out on Profound Lore Records in 2004 as an LP only release. Upon selling out at an insane rate, a year past where the hounds of ebay would re-mortgage their homes to try and get a copy of this collectible material for their very own. The CD is a Battle Kommand Records re-issue of said LP, to appeal to a wider, seemingly rabid audience of both popular US bands. I’ve said it time and again, but I tend to like only a small handful of both bands material due to the general sameness that infects their catalogs, but even though the predictability and rehashed nature of this music is a given, I do like the vibe and overall dedication to the core sound both created by Xasthur and Leviathan. The Xasthur side of the split, to my surprise, actually sounded like it was either recorded on newer gear, or in a studio, for every element on this side of the split is audible and sharp, when most of Xasthur’s tunes are draped in this reverb soaked wash of lo-fi misery. Other than that, this is Xasthur 101. The drum machine leads the charge into the smoke filled den of sonic torment. Mid-paced agony bleeds into clean, drumless passages that offer up a bleak atmosphere. Predictable, but still enjoyable if you’re in the proper headspace for it. 7 tracks in length, including a rehearsal track, a bonus track and an interesting cover of the Katatonia song, “Palace of Frost”. For the Leviathan tracks, I must admit that I am impressed with the laid back and depressive nature of the long “Unfailing into Naught” track with it’s brooding tempo/riffs and slow decay into a very introspective synth instrumental. With this band, less is more. The more simplistic his music is, I feel it’s far more effective than when Wrest tries to cram in too many ideas both rhythmically and musically. The other Leviathan track is a bit quicker paced, yet just as stripped down and cryptic with ghostly harmonies swirling off in the distance. A nice touch really. Leviathan closes out this split with an accurate cover of Judas Iscariot’s “Where Winter Beals Incessant”, making this an enjoyable release that does help in easing my burn out for both artists. This is another reason why it took me so long to review this CD… it came during a time when it seems like a lot of both bands titles were pouring in to my collection and I simply had enough. So… for dedicated fans and people sitting on the fence like me, this split CD turned out to be something that I’ll definitely hang onto and dig out of the pile on occasion. -Marty


~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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