5 May 2016

Xasthur: "Parole Fearing"

A legend returns in a new guise
Xasthur shouldn't need much of an introduction to fans of black metal. Created originally in 1995 by Scott "Malefic" Conner, the entity was a cornerstone of American black metal until he ceased the project in 2010. In 2012 Conner started Nocturnal Poisoning, an acoustic folk project with stripped down aesthetics, vocalless and not always accompanied by rhythm instrumentation or percussion.

Though not an actual continuation of the depressive tunes of his former project, the melodies in many ways felt akin to those of Xasthur. In 2015 Conner announced that he would be performing Nocturnal Poisoning material under the Xasthur name, and on April 29th 2016, a new song surfaced.

The song, Parole Fearing, is to be featured on the upcoming May 2016 album entitled Subject to Change. Joined by musicians Christopher Hernandez and Robert, Scott Conner in many ways continues the forlorn, gloomy acoustics of Nocturnal Poisoning.

"...this latest track shows an unusually heartfelt and personal side..."

Released under the Xasthur name, Parole Fearing captures the same sombre, down to earth everyday-melancholy that has always permeated Conner's compositions, but this latest track shows an unusually heartfelt and personal side that his previous projects and songs hasn't quite achieved in the same way.

Parole Fearing is sincere in its simple setup, starting out with a translucent round of chords which breaks out into a more Nocturnal Poisoning-esque arpeggio accompanied by two singing voices - one high, one low. Later on the rounds are joined by a quiet layer of reverbed piano which sounds just human enough to add another layer of authenticity.

As the two vocalists sing of melancholy and the futility of everyday life, the tambourine chimes away softly in the background. Add tortured screams and heavily distorted guitars, and this might as well have been classic Xasthur. But this stripped down doomfolk incarnation fits Conner's songwriting - or perhaps it is the other way around. Parole Fearing seems like a promising start of a new project, not wholeheartedly old school Xasthur or Nocturnal Poisoning.


Released in 2016 independently

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