XASTHUR — Nocturnal Poisoning (review)

XASTHUR — Nocturnal Poisoning album cover Album · 2002 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Nocturnal Poisoning is the first proper full-length album by Xasthur, and it shows in the album’s innovative power. After this album there has been a few Xasthur releases that have lacked of this certain enthusiasm still present on Nocturnal Poisoning.

All the usual elements of Xasthur are here: twisted guitar melodies, weird synths, programmed drums, vocal effects and an overall eerie atmosphere. Nocturnal Poisoning is indeed a ghostly experience. It is not Satanic or downright anti-Christian, but it reeks of death and horror. The first two songs, ”In the Hate of Battle” and ”Soul Abduction Ceremony” are good examples of Xasthur’s eerie compositional style, and they belong to the standout tracks of the album.

”A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors” is presented on Nocturnal Poisoning too, originally appearing on the demo with the same name. I can not compare these versions much because I’m not really acquainted with the demo, but at least I can say that this new version is a bit more distorted so that the synths and guitars are now more blurred together. ”Black Imperial Blood” is a cover song of Mütiilation, and although it’s a cover, it sounds very Xasthur.

The latter half of Nocturnal Poisoning is not as interesting as the first half, but this is mostly due to the length of the songs. ”Legion of Sin and Necromancy” is almost 12 minutes long and the title track over 15 minutes, which means that my mind always goes elsewhere at some point and I can’t sit through this 70-minute album without losing concentration. And as a background music this kind of music loses its meaning. Hence I think that Nocturnal Poisoning could do better with some length reduction. Otherwise, it’s still a very good release and one of the better Xasthur albums.
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