“Hedengang”/”A Curse For The Lifeless” by Nortt/Xasthur

Artist: Nortt/Xasthur
Title: “Hedengang”/”A Curse For The Lifeless” (Split Album)
Label: Southern Lord
Release Date: 5/3/2005
Genre: Atmospheric/Black/Doom
Rating: 4/10

The more I hear this type of stuff the more I wonder what it is that I am supposed to get from it. Simply giving titles to power chords that echo in endless repetition does not make you a musician or songwriter. Perhaps I am simply not getting the point but this split album by cult favorites in the Black Metal scene clearly left me wondering. The album is actually two samplings of “music” by both Nortt and Xasthur. To describe Nortt is to say this is essentially Horror movie soundtrack stuff. A drummer keeps a slow sense of time under the repeating power chords while the singer growls undiscernibly. Too much of this section of the album was the same for me to even enjoy it but I also admit I need a little more drive to my songs. While I was amused at first I was bored after the first two tracks. The keyboard use gives a creepy ambience that gave me the horror movie aspect of it. The press sheet we received with this label Nortt as “funeral Metal” and I give a strong advice that those who are extremely depressed should NOT seek this CD out. Xasthur makes up the final three tracks on this CD and they are a lot more musical and melodic than the portions by Nortt which was good for me since I needed to be placed in a more “up” frame of mind. I actually enjoyed the drive of “Blood From The Roots Of The Forest” quite a bit since it had a full band and was very energetic compared to the rest of the CD. It is a little long though, running over 8 minutes.

Southern Lord Music is certainly defining a niche audience with its releases and is aiming at a core demographic. This is serious stuff and it is certainly different. Those that have heard of these guys should know that this release by Southern Lord is the only place to find Nortt outside of Europe. I would pass on this CD but I am course of the label as someone who “didn’t get it” and is probably too mainstream for what is being delivered here. Follow the weblink to find out more. If you dare.

Track Listing (Nortt)
1. Hedengangen (Intro)
2. Glemt
3. Dod og Borte
4. Dystert Sind (Outro)

Track Listing (Xasthur)
5. A Curse for the Lifeless
6. Blood From the Roots of the Forest
7. Lurking in Silence

Official Website: www.southernlord.com

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