Natanas – Xylophar (Review)

XylopharThis is the fifth album from Natanas, a one-man Black Metal band from the US.

As I’ve quipped before – another month, another Natanas album…

This time though, as prolific as he is, he’s really outdone himself. Xylophar contains 19 tracks, a whopping 88 minutes of music.

If you’re allergic to challenging, dark music then it’s probably going to be akin to torture for you. However, if, like me, you can’t help but masochistically enjoy this kind of thing, then Xylophar takes on the form of some kind of warped film score with each track representing a different scene and a variation on a malignant feeling.

This is almost ambient work in the sense that it draws you in and relaxes you…well, as relaxing as bone-chilling screaming over an empty abyss can be, of course.

As I sit here writing this on a Sunday morning, it’s absolutely hammering it down with rain outside and the ancient trees I can see outside my window look amazing. I note this as I’m struck by the thought that some Black Metal can act as the perfect accompaniment to nature, seeming to touch on something primal. Natanas, however, is more like the perfect antidote to nature. This is music that seems to want to blacken and despoil nature’s purity and scorch the earth with fire in its wake.

At least that’s my impression.

I find that my review of this latest Natanas release is noticeably less descriptive than previous ones, as once you get to a certain point, (as with any style of music), it becomes variations on a theme. There are differences between releases and songs of course, but it’s more a case of a slow moving progression rather than an evolutionary leap.

Having said that though, comparing Xylophar to the last release смертность, things have moved on, as they always do, and if you compare it to All Is Permitted then Natanas has come a long way indeed.

Building on his earlier work, this is somewhat of a twisted masterpiece. As such, I’d argue that Xylophar is Natanas’ best work, and probably his most bleakly consistent.

There seems to be a theme of a lone, mournful, off-kilter lead guitar running throughout the album too, almost like it’s documenting the activity of the protagonist in the fictional film that this scores in my mind.

As always. Natanas has produced some compelling work, and as always it’s not for everyone. Again though, as always, I highly recommend it.

I’m looking at those trees again. Hmmm…if I could only remember where I put my flamethrower…

2 thoughts on “Natanas – Xylophar (Review)”

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