AMN Reviews: Xerxes The Dark – Soundtrack To The Blind Owl (2021; Bandcamp)

Xerxes the Dark (Morego Dimmer) is back with an unusual release – unusual both in general and for him. Xerxes is known for dark ambient and drone offerings tinged with industrial rhythms. Here, Soundtrack To The Blind Owl consists of some of that but is dominated by multitracked, distorted guitar soundscapes.

The album is based on Sadegh Hedayat’s The Blind Owl, a 1937 book about a man’s nightmarish descent into madness. The book (which I have not read but is on my list) generated controversy and was originally banned. It has since become recognized as a major piece of literature. Xerxes’ adaptation is a drone metal “soundtrack” to an imagined film version of the story. It is as mind-bending as it is harshly toned, with walls of grinding riffs, speed picking, and oscillating synth-driven effects across six medium-length tracks. Loose comparisons could be made to Sunn O))) and Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, but this effort is more varied and modern.

I’ve been listening to Soundtrack To The Blind Owl all week and found that it grows on you as a singular and compelling representation. Well done.