Yesterday saw the release of 'All Reflections Drained' by lo-fi black metal act Xasthur. This double CD album, the second of which is outtakes and covers, is cased in a DVD digi-pack with hauntingly beautiful art; beautiful in a cemetery during a rainstorm kind of way. Much like the limited cassette version of 'All Reflections Drained' that was released back in March this is a stunning packaging for an album about chosen darkness, death and solitude.

Xasthur has only one member, Malefic, whose real name is Scott Conner (nothing scary about that name), and Malefic doesn't not play nice with anyone - not band members, not specific metal scenes, and not anyone wanting an interview. For a while he played with Sunn O))), contributing to their amp porn live show but said, "I could not get along with those guys on many levels."

Malefic has also collaborated with Twilight and Nachtmystium as well. Xasther is about loneliness, solitude and being everything that the LA black metal scene is not. No glitz, no glamour, no celebration of a community bonded. Malefic has played every instrument, from drums to guitar to cello, on the releases of Xasthur since 1999.

"Alienation is the key. No supportive scene here - I'm not a part of what I refer to as 'the L.A. black/death metal casting couch'," Malefic has said. Xasthur is not black metal in the way Norwegian and Scandinavian bands are with the music speaking of cold winds and Satan in the mist. The lo-fi sound of Xasthur draw quick changes from soaring screeches to landscape-like beauty. If anything, Xasthur is the sounds of a mind reveling in the darkness of a city hated by the composer.

We here at Noisecreep tried to get an interview with Malefic for the release of the quite stunning and unsettling 'All Reflections Drained' even though he has been known to be very unpredictable in interviews and normally sets rules on how the print or quotations will be seen. But Malefic is sticking to the axe he dropped at the end of a 2007 interview with Kory Grow, "Thanks for the interview. I will not be doing any more of them."

Xasthur is never expected to play live.

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