posted on 2/2010 By:
My personal opinion of Xasthur is essentially the same as that which Chris McDonald stated in his review of A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors. It is almost a kind of enjoyable apathy. Malefic can no doubt create a brooding and haunting atmosphere, but I have always found his songwriting chops to be much weaker than many of his suicidal USBM brethren (particularly Leviathan).
The lazily-named 2005 Demo is no different. These two untitled tracks (also lazy there Malefic) are the same type of incredibly bleak dirge which can be heard on any of Xasthur’s numerous LPs, EPs, and splits, particularly the contemporaneously recorded Subliminal Genocide. The first track is a bit of a bore, but the second draws some attention with its waves of slow layered riffs during its latter half, creating the desired hypnotic effect. You can also expect a very familiar production (vocals recorded from about a mile away), despite the demo tag.
Despite being somewhat enjoyable, especially to the Xasthur loyal, nothing about 2005 Demo will be new to your ears. In the end, this is a blatant cash grab by Malefic and Hydra Head, and there are at least 1,000 more fitting destinations for your Alexander Hamilton than this cookie-cutter quarter hour. This is only even mildly necessary to Xasthur completionists (all baker’s dozen of you), or to those new to the band, to whom it could make a decent and easily digestible introduction.
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Portal of Sorrow
A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors (Reissue)