Origin of Darkness
The Living Darkness
posted on 11/2010 By:
It's been about four years since we last heard from Xathagorra Mlandroth, the brainpower behind seminal funeral acts Hierophant and Catacombs, but the years have apparently been no less cruel or weighty, as his latest project, Origin of Darkness, vents a level of crushing distress that quite honestly (and surprisingly) grasps an even higher peak of tragic malaise.
Stripped to its crux, The Living Darkness EP is about as raw a representation of its title as one could expect. In terms of previous Xathagorra works, whereas In the Depths of R'lyeh writhed its way into the marrow with a bleak crawl that emphasized a cavernous mood, Origin of Darkness fully asphyxiates the listener in a smothering, fatal darkness: like being drowned in the black ink spewed from the beak of a primeval, tentacled leviathan hunting the greatest depths of the sea.
The pace throughout this three-song, 25-minute drowning is a number of measures faster than what we've grown to expect from this one-man venture, but it maintains a stride prodigious enough to still warrant the sluggish "funeral" tag. And similar to Xathagorra's previous pursuits, Origin of Darkness achieves a colossal heft of inhuman density without the use of extensive studio trickery or motley bells and whistles; this is ruin delivered through nothing but a ponderously megaton rhythm anchored to a bestial, glottal gnarr that sounds as if Xathagorra's surgically replaced his cords with that of a grumbling, distempered prehistoric cave bear.
Also standing out on The Living Darkness is its wide use of unnerving "leads" that beset each of the three tunes. These frequent break-outs wriggle temptingly from the depths like the dangling phosphorescent lures hanging off deep sea predators and considerably enhance the disquieting texture that encompasses the overall atmosphere of this satisfyingly blighted EP.
A simple shuffle over to Xathagorra Industries website will bring those left curious face-to-face with this prodigious beast as a free download for a limited time. I expect those who've been waiting patiently to hear what's next from this man's camp will be quite pleased with the Origin of Darkness results. And as a final note, allow me to also recommend heading straight for the BIG speakers once The Living Darkness hits your hands: tectonic plate shifting will occur when this EP's properly cranked to a pulverizing level.
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