Originally released in 2001, and yet again in 2004 in a slightly different format, Xasthur's A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors was Malefic's first stab at turning the US black metal machine into a one-man operation. It worked, and he's been at it ever since, churning out one bleak, desolate, black metal release after another. Much of what you get here is raw, underground sounding stuff, with barren production qualities that seem to vary from song to song. Much like early Burzum (there's even a cover song of "Black Spell of Destruction" here), this is mostly waves of sound, at times frantic and bludgeoning with raging guitar riffs and pulverizing blast beats, and occasionally atmospheric and quite creepy featuring keyboards and strummed guitar chords. For the most part this release is instrumental, save for certain songs where the anguished and tortured screams of Malefic come into play. Highlights include the spooky 12-minute epic "Suicide in Dark Serenity", the crushing "Cursed Be the Memory of Light", and the two part tug of war between majesty and savage brutality that is "Storms of Red Revenge Part 2 & 1".
The official release will also contain a bonus 2nd CD of previously unreleased material from the same era, titled A Darkened Winter Promo '01 + 1, making this set a must purchase for Xasthur fans. For the uninitiated, A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors might be too raw and unpolished, especially if you are used to some of the more known black metal acts such as Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, and Immortal, but for those into the underground black metal scene, especially here in the US, this will be a welcome treat.
- Moon Shrouded In Misery (Part 1)
- Suicide In Dark Serenity
- Dwelling Beneath The Woods
- Cursed Be The Memory Of Light
- Spell Within the Winds
- Storms of Red Revenge Part 2
- Storms of Red Revenge Part 1
- Eternal Empire Of Majesty Death (Mutiilation Cover)
- A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors
- Kingdom Of Burning Crucifixions
- Moon Shrouded In Misery (Part 2)
- Black Spell Of Destruction(Burzum Cover)
- Lost Behind Bloodstained Mirrors (Outro)