Unexpected collaborations are always noteworthy around here, which is partly why we made sure to mention the recent team-up of singer/songwriter Marissa Nadler and Scott Conner, the leader of black metal outfit Xasthur, earlier this year. The unlikely pair worked together on Portal of Sorrow, Conner’s final album under the Xasthur moniker, which is available right now via Hydra Head Records.
In a recent lengthy blog post, dubbed “out now and ending now,” Conner, aka Malefic, described his reasons for ending the band’s decade-plus run:
I’m not able to make it work anymore. I don’t want to turn into one of those bands who rely on too many guests and session musicians to make people interested in their music again… The motivation and inspiration used to be there full time and now it’s not there at all, not for doing Xasthur at least. It is a role or persona that I have simply outgrown.
Though we weren’t exactly sure what to expect, the results of the Nadler/Xasthur collab are somewhat unsurprising in retrospect. Nadler provides a haunting, reverb-heavy chorus to Portal of Sorrow, a contribution being credited as: “choir, vocal flashbacks, vocal instrumentation.” In any event, buy the record here, and check out a sample of the title track below: