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Review: Xasthur - A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors
A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors

Label: Profane Productions
Year released: 2001
Duration: 72:31
Tracks: 13
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: October 15, 2001
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors

Rated 4.23/5 (84.62%) (13 Votes)

This CD is the first release on CD-R label Profane Productions. It is a collection of songs by this one-man U.S. band, most of them dating back to '95-96. The music here is very raw BM with screeching (and indecipherable) vocals. The vocals are worth mentionning here. Other than them being very weird sounding (as in annoying..) at the beginning of the first song, on the rest of the album it feels like the vocals are coming from beyond the grave or direct from hell, whatever! - very haunting, depressing vocal work here. This goes hand in hand with the music, which varies from very quiet and melancholic to much faster, brutal and angry, pretty much in the same vein as early Burzum and Graveland. The overall atmosphere is very dark and at times very depressing and I must say it's hard to criticize this recording on that specific point - one might argue about the playing but there's no arguing that this sounds like a 72 minutes journey through hell.

The sound quality if overall good for this type of music - and by now you've guessed that you should not expect big studio production here. In my opinion the "unclean" production is necessary to achieve the kind of atmosphere found here anyway. It took me a few listens to really appreciate the quality and the depth of the material, but it was definitely worth the "effort". This CD will appeal to fans of early Burzum and Graveland, or pretty much any fan of very raw BM. The packaging is minimal with no lyrics, but the enclosing sealed enveloppe is kind of original. This release is limited to 150 hand-numbered copies.

Other related information on the site
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Interview with Malefic on October 22, 2004 (Interviewed by Chris Mitchell (Desolate Gale))
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