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  • Jason Hesley

XASTHUR to release "Inevitably Dark" on June 5th!


There is hardly a more fitting title for the new XASTHUR compositions than "Inevitably Dark". Darkness is the element that holds all the tracks together despite the fact that they are expressed in a multitude of genres, which even includes black metal. This time. Be warned: this album is neither meant as a return to black metal of mastermind Scott Conner, even though he does this time, nor a guarantee that it will happen again next time – although, he might. Maybe.


This monolith of musical darkness that is balefully towering in the shape of a monumental XASTHUR double album has been made from sonic granite. Like the intrusive igneous type of rock, it is coarse-grained, composed from different minerals that have formed from magma erupting to the surface from infernal depths, and has a high content of metal oxides that do not always show at a superficial glance.


Instead of quartz, alkali feldspar, and other types of rock, Conner has used black metal, dark ambient, acid folk, doomgrass, and other genres to express what he has seen and felt, as well as a way to find his own sound or style at a point in time – for example when he was without a steady home and often living in hotels or cars. His insights into the underbelly of the American dream are reflected in the lyrics of "Inevitably Dark", which are there even though there is no singing on the album. Conner is taking a look into the minds of the mentally ill. The puzzle of people that he encountered on the road and that might be homeless because they are ill, or whose minds shattered when they lost their homes.


Documenting what he has heard and seen, Conner recorded all the tracks of "Inevitably Dark" live and by himself, which might make it sound coarse to modern ears, but it is just the grit and stain of unfiltered reality. His way is the old hard way of a live sound and not the fake glitter of a perfectly polished product. XASTHUR are sounding exactly as the mastermind has envisioned his album to be: real.


XASTHUR were originally conceived by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Scott Conner in California, USA in the year 1995. The project started out in the vein of bleak black metal in the tradition of the Nordic second wave. Over the course of nine albums and a host of split-singles, EPs, and occasional demos, XASTHUR's individual, particularly depressive style became highly regarded within the extreme genre. In 2010, Scott announced the end of XASTHUR and returned with an acoustic dark folk project under the banner of NOCTURNAL POISONING. In 2015, the American artist returned to the name XASTHUR, but insisted that his black metal days were over.


With "Inevitably Dark", XASTHUR have partly lifted the self-imposed ban on black metal, simply because Conner felt like it and therefore did it. Yet this double-album is not written to serve any genre purpose or intended to pander to any scene. "Inevitably Dark" is what it is, foremost a piece of musical darkness and self-reflection, because Scott Conner can do what he wills. And that is no small artistic achievement.

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